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IV. A VISIT TO DON SALTERO'S, - - - - - 13 *"" 



VIII. ON LADIES' DRESS, - ..... 30 



XI. ON DUELLING, - - 42 






XVII. ON SATIRE, - . - 64 




NOTES, ... go 
INDEX TO NOTES, ......'.. 122 


IT has been the curious fate of at least three men, whose 
greatness is associated with the eighteenth century, to 
have had their memories undeservedly injured through 
the hostility, the mistakes, or the supercilious regard 
of a succession of more or less adverse critics; and it 
has been the good fortune of some writers of our own 
day to be in a position, with fuller knowledge te^faand, 
to vindicate their characters, or greatly to modify the 
harsh opinions we had been led to form of them, through 
the carelessness, or something worse, of previous bio 
graphers. Of these three, Eichard Steele is one ; and 
as to the two others, we now know that Eichard 
Brinsley Sheridan was not quite so contemptible in 
life and end as we had thought, and that the moral 
obliquity of Warren Hastings existed in the biased 
imagination of Lord Macaulay. 

Strangely enough it is from Lord Macaulay's mis 
chievous picturesqueness that Steele also has suffered ; 
but not perhaps to so great an extent from this, as 
from the pitying affection with which Thackeray regards 
him. We have only to read the Essay on Addison of 


the one and Esmond or the Lecture on Steele 1 of the other 
to appreciate how far the popular conception of Steele's 
character is due to these two writers. But " the whirli 
gig of time brings his revenges," and Steele need now 
no longer be for us "the rake" of Macaulay, "whose 
life was spent in sinning and repenting," or the "Poor 
Dick " of Thackeray, but a man of high, generous, and 
chivalric actions; a faithful and lovable friend; and, 
despite the faults generally associated with enthusiastic 
and impulsive natures, an honest champion of what was 
pure and good, and that too in a generation which 
esteemed but lightly those things which are of good 
report. 2 

Although Steele speaks of himself as an "English 
man, born in Ireland," there is reason to believe that 
he was more of an Irishman than this statement would 
seem to imply, for there is not much doubt that he 
was connected with a family of Steeles of Cheshire, 
which had settled in the country before the middle of 
the seventeenth century, and had already given a Lord 
Chancellor to the High Court of Justice in Ireland. 
In the year 1672, on the 12th of March, when London 
was still staggering from the two awful blows of the 
Great Plague and the Great Fire, Kichard Steele was 
born in the sister capital of Dublin, not far from that 

1 See English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century. 

2 To his two latest biographers, Mr. Austin Dobson and especi 
ally Mr. George A. Aitken, we are indebted for this better and 
truer view of Steele's character. The present editor would here 
acknowledge his indebtedness to the former's Richard Steele in 
the "English Worthies" series and the Selections in the "Clar 
endon Press" volume, and to the latter's admirable Life of Steele, 
2 vols., 1889. 


spot where Dean Swift had been born five years pre 
viously ; and the record of his baptism may still be read 
in the register of St. Bride's Parish. But with this 
event his connection with Ireland may be said to have 
begun and closed. Steele's father, like Swift's, was a 
Dublin attorney ; apparently well-to-do, for he possessed 
a country house at Monkstown in the neighbourhood 
of Dublin, and at one time held the office of sub-sheriff 
of the county of Tipperary. He died when his son 
was but five years of age, and there is reason to believe 
that Richard's mother, whom her son describes as "a 
very beautiful woman of a noble spirit," 1 soon followed 
her husband to the grave. The facts that survive of 
Steele's early life are very few, and there is nothing 
to tell of him until he entered the famous Charterhouse 
School in 1684. It was here that the most memorable 
of literary friendships an almost life-long one was 
formed, when Joseph Addison joined the school nearly 
two years after; and it is pleasant to imagine Steele, 
with his experience of school life and his kindly heart, 
helping to make the first few trying weeks of a " new 
boy's" existence tolerable to the shy and somewhat 
sedate son of Lancelot Addison, the Dean of Lichfield. 

It is easy to perceive from Steele's writings that he 
took advantage of the excellent classical training which 
the Charterhouse offered, and although not the scholar 
which Addison proved to be, it was with no bad result 
that Dr. Thomas Walker, the headmaster, administered 
those floggings of which Steele frequently speaks in 
after years. 

In due time Steele went to Christ Church, Oxford, 
iSee Essay IL, p. 6, 1. 11. 


matriculating with an exhibition, in 1690, and then 
rejoined his friend, who had already preceded him by 
two years, at the University. But the quiet of an 
Oxford scholar's life, so dear to Addison, was not to 
Steele's taste, and early in the year 1694, with char 
acteristic impulsiveness, he took the curious step of 
enlisting in a regiment of Horse Guards then under 
the command of the Duke of Ormond, who, through 
the influence of Henry Gascoigne, Steele's uncle and 
the Duke's private secretary, had frequently befriended 
the boy. Now it is not to be supposed that this act 
involved any social hardships, for Ormond's regiment 
consisted chiefly of young men of birth and station 
who in those days eagerly sought service in the various 
regiments ; and so we are not surprised to find that 
about a year later Steele obtained a commission in Lord 
Cutts' regiment of Coldstream Guards, and some time 
after was promoted to a captaincy in Lord Lucas's 

With the facts of Steele's military life, which lasted 
nearly twenty years, we need not trouble ourselves, 
except to note that his duties as a soldier did not pre 
vent him from laying the foundation of that fame, as 
poet, as playwright, and above all as essayist, which 
we, as "heirs of all the ages," so richly enjoy. Like 
Addison, Steele began his literary career with a poem. 
The Procession, written on the occasion of the death of 
Queen Mary, is not particularly interesting, and his 
second work, a prose one, seems first to have attracted 
public attention. That work, The Christian Hero, pub 
lished in 1701 and dedicated to Lord Cutts, was not 
originally intended for publication, but was written in 


the midst of the temptations of his soldier's life "to 
fix upon his own mind a strong impression of virtue 
and religion." The story of the little book and its 
fate must be read elsewhere; it is here sufficient to 
remember that it bears the stamp of sincerity and 
goodness, and that several of its passages and senti 
ments were afterwards embodied in the Taller and 
Spectator. He was not, however, yet to develop the 
gift by which we know him best, and as if to try his 
hand at all forms of literature, he devoted the next 
four years to the production of three comedies, The 
Funeral, The Lying Lovers, and The Tender Husband. 
Although of considerable merit, their success was not 
great, and that chiefly for a reason which reflects much 
credit on Steele; they were too moral. A generation 
which enjoyed the evil in the comedies of Congreve 
and Farquhar was not prepared to welcome plays which 
had for their avowed object the elevation of the stage. 
Many years later Steele wrote another comedy, The 
Conscious Lovers, in which he returns to the denunciation 
of the practice of duelling, against which he had, in 
the meantime, spoken so bravely in the Tatler. 1 In 
1707 he obtained the post of editor of the London 
Gazette, a Government appointment, which gave him 
access to political news of much use in his work as a 

The story of the foundation of the Tatler, though 
familiar, must be told once more. It was a new de 
parture in periodical literature ; and it is well to 
remember that its novelty was entirely due to the 
energy and ingenuity of Steele. With one exception, 
1 See Essay xi. and notes. 


there is nothing in common between the many period 
icals which preceded Steele's venture and the Taller. 
That one exception is Defoe's Review, a journal which 
was published in 1704, and outlived both the Taller 
and Guardian. But even between these the difference 
is great. Defoe's journal is mainly devoted to political 
news, and a very small portion of the paper to social 
questions. The exact reverse is the case with Steele's 
here the element of news ic quite secondary, and as the 
work progresses it soon disappears, while the social 
element predominates from the beginning. Steele, as 
the publication grows, leaves no doubt as to his aims : 
"The general purpose of this paper is to expose the 
false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, 
vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general 
simplicity in our dress, our discourse, our behaviour," 
an intention otherwise expressed in the familiar words 
of No. 89 of the Taller. 1 With such serious object in 
view he needed, at first, to be cautious lest his readers 
should suspect him of posing as a preacher and a 
moralist; and so the whole framework of the Taller 
is conceived in a spirit of delightful and attractive 
pleasantry. The title is chosen, as he merrily says, " in 
honour of the fair sex " ; the name of Isaac Bickerstaff, 
under which he writes, is borrowed from a practical 
joke which, for many a day, entertained the country ; 
and the character of Isaac is drawn as that of a kindly 
and harmless old gentleman, "now past his grand 
climacteric, being sixty-four years of age," " a philo 
sopher, an humourist, an astrologer, and a censor." 
It is well to bear in mind that incident which gave 
J See Essay i., p. 3, 11. 12-19. 


Steele his nom de guerre. The seventeenth century had 
seen a curious revival of the so-called science of astrology, 
and prominent amongst its professors was a quack who 
called himself John Partridge. Originally a shoemaker, 
he became a vendor of medicines, then an astrologer, 
and finally a compiler of prophetical Almanacks. His 
roguish impostures proved most profitable, and his 
success speedily induced others to imitate him, until 
the country was annually flooded with these ridiculous 
compilations. Becoming more and more audacious, 
he finally foretold the deposition and death of the 
French king. It was an opportunity for the wits not 
to be lost, and Swift seized it. With the good object 
of stamping out this folly he published in January, 
under the name of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., his famous 
Predictions for the year 1708, in which he solemnly fore 
told the death of Partridge, " upon the 29th of March 
next, about eleven at night, of a raging fever " ; which 
was followed up at the proper time by a circumstantial 
account of Partridge's death. It was useless to pro 
test ; there were too many friends in league with Swift 
bent on keeping up the fun. So admirably was their 
gravity maintained that their victim's actual decease was 
largely credited, and the result was the cessation of the 
Almanacks. The name of Bickerstaff, which Swift is said 
to have taken from a London shopman, thus became 
known throughout England, and its popularity sug 
gested its appropriation by Steele. 

The Taller was first published April 12th, 1709, and 
its numbers continued to appear on every Tuesday, 
Thursday, and Saturday, until January 2nd, 1711. 
From our standpoint, accustomed as we are to the great 


journals of the nineteenth century, it was an insig 
nificant production, a single sheet, and the charge one 
penny. It ran for 271 numbers, and of these Steele 
wrote 188, Addison 42, and it is thought that 3 6" may 
be attributed to the two friends jointly ; other writers 
contributed the balance, Swift amongst the number. 1 
Once Steele had started in this path his energy was 
immense. Not alone do we owe to him the creation 
of the Taller, Guardian, and Spectator, but seven other 
journals were initiated and for the most part written 
by him the Englishman, Lover, Reader, Town Talk, 
Tea-Table Chit Chat, Plebeian, and Theatre. But his fame 
was established by the Tatter, and in that work we 
must seek for him at his best ; just as we find Addison 
at his best in the Spectator. , In addition to his literary 
labours, he took upon himself the burdens of theatrical 
management and of politics. He sat in Parliament, 
first for Stockbridge, then for Boroughbridge, and finally 
for Wendover, the last famous as the first seat held by 
Edmund Burke. In 1715 George I. honoured him with 
knighthood, and nine years later he retired in broken 
health, after a life full of excitement, much storm, and 
hard work, to Carmarthen, where he died from paralysis 
on September 1st, 1729, in his fifty-eighth year, having 
" retained his cheerful sweetness of temper to the last." 
Sir Kichard Steele was twice married, first to a widow, 
Mrs. Stretch, 2 and secondly to Mary Scurlock. If we 

1 When first published the Latin mottoes only, appeared over 
the Tatlers ; the English mottoes were added by other hands, 
and are not to be relied 011 as either literal or even correct trans 
lations in all cases. 

2 The discovery of the name of Steele's first wife is due to 
Mr. Aitken. Her maiden name was Margaret Ford. 


wish to know how courteous, how kindly, how loving 
a man Steele was we cannot do better than read those 
entertaining letters in which he poured forth his daily 
thoughts to his second wife. 

It used to be the fashion, when comparing Addison's 
position as a writer with that of Steele, to place the 
former on so high a pinnacle, that the originator of 
the form of literature which gave Addison his oppor 
tunity, suffered undue depreciation. Addison is un 
questionably the greater man and the greater writer; 
Steele never attains to the polished style or the majestic 
rhetoric of Addison ; he is at times careless to incorrect 
ness ; but he has, what we miss in the other, a spon 
taneity, a naturalness, a geniality, which constitute the 
great charm of his writing. He is not a whit behind 
Addison in moral tone and in humour; they both 
raise their voices with equal vigour in condemnation 
of the evils of their day the gambling, the debauchery, 
the duelling, and the shams of fashionable life; their 
humour is equally good and equally characteristic. 

Let us see how competent critics judge Steele. 
Here is what Gay, his contemporary, said of him : 
"His writings have set all our wits and men of letters 
upon a new way of thinking, of which they had little 
or no notion before ; and though we cannot say that 
any of them have come up to the beauties of the 
original, I think we may venture to affirm that every 
one of them writes and thinks much more justly than 
they did some time since." Again, Leigh Hunt writes: 
" I prefer open-hearted Steele with all his faults, to 
Addison with all his essays." Mr. Austin Dobson 
sympathetically says, when contrasting Addison and 


Steele: "For words which the heart finds when the 
head is seeking; for phrases glowing with the white 
heat of a generous emotion ; for sentences which throb 
and tingle with manly pity or courageous indignation, 
we must go to the essays of Steele." And finally, Mr. 
Aitken, Steele's latest and best biographer, writes : " In 
his ever lovable writings he always kept before him 
the highest aims, endeavouring, in whatever shape 
he might adopt for the expression of his thoughts, to 
reform manners and help in raising mankind to a higher 

In the following selections chronological order of 
publication is not followed. The first two Essays are 
those in which Steele, under the thin disguise of Isaac 
Bickerstaff, tells us something of his own life ; and in 
Nos. II. and in. we are charmed by his pathos. Then 
follow Essays mostly directed against the follies of his 
time ; Essays, like No. vn. and No. XL, in which 
his common-sense advice is given or his honest protest 
made ; No. IX., in which we have what we may con 
sider the first draft of the famous Spectator Club, and 
which, along with Nos. XII. and xiv., illustrates 
Steele's humour; and finally four Essays, Nos. XVIL, 
xviii. , xix., and xx., in which he appears in his 
more serious and philosophic mood. 

As we read these, and many more of their kind in 
the volumes of the Tatler, we feel that of " the trium 
virate of Addison, Steele, and Swift," the frankest, the 
most genial, and most human, is he that created the 
Tatler, and gave to the world the first sketch of the 
immortal Sir Roger de Coverley. 



No. 89.] Thursday, November 3, 1709. 

Rura mihi placeant, riguique in vallibus ainnes, 
Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius 

Virg. Qeorg. ii. 485. 

My next desire is, void of care and strife, 

To lead a soft, secure, inglorious life; 

A country cottage near a crystal flood, 

A winding valley, and a lofty wood. DRYDE.V. 

Grecian Coffee-house, November 2. 
I HAVE received this short epistle from an unknown hand. 


" I have no more to trouble you with than to desire 10 
you would in your next help me to some answer to the 
inclosed concerning yourself. In the mean time I con 
gratulate you upon the increase of your fame, which you 
see has extended itself beyond the bills of mortality." 

"That the country is barren of news l*as been the 
excuse, time out of mind, for dropping a correspondence 
with our friends in London ; as if it were impossible out 
of a coffee-house to write an agreeable letter. I am too 
ingenuous to endeavour at the covering of my negligence 20 
with so common an excuse. Doubtless, amongst friends, 
bred, as we have been, to the better knowledge of books 


as well as men, a letter dated from a garden, a grotto, a 
fountain, a wood, a meadow, or the banks of a river, may 
be more entertaining than one from Tom's, Will's, White's, 
or St. James's. I promise, therefore, to be frequent for 
the future in my rural dates to you. But for fear you 
should, from what I have said, be induced to believe I 
shun the commerce of men, I must inform you, that there 
is a fresh topic of discourse lately arisen amongst the 
ingenious in our part of the world, and is become the 

10 more fashionable for the ladies giving in to it. This we 
owe to Isaac Bickerstaff, who is very much censured by 
some, and as much justified by others. Some criticise 
his style, his humour, and his matter ; others admire the 
whole man. Some pretend, from the informations of their 
friends in town, to decypher the author ; and others con 
fess they are lost in their guesses. For my part, I must 
own myself a professed admirer of the paper, and desire you 
to send me a complete set, together with your thoughts of 
the squire and his lucubrations." 

20 There is no pleasure like that of receiving praise from 
the praiseworthy ; and I own it a very solid happiness, 
that these my lucubrations are approved by a person of 
so fine a taste as the author of this letter, who is capable 
of enjoying the world in the simplicity of its natural 
beauties. This pastoral letter, if I may so call it, must 
be written by a man who carries his entertainment wherever 
he goes, and is undoubtedly one of those happy men who 
appear far otherwise to the vulgar. I dare say, he is 
not envied by the vicious, the vain, the frolic, and the 

30 loud ; but is continually blessed with that strong and 
serious delight, which flows from a well-taught and liberal 
mind. With great respect to country sports, I may say, 
this gentleman could pass his time agreeably, if there 
were not a hare or a fox in his county. That calm and 
elegant satisfaction which the vulgar call melancholy is 
the true and proper delight of men of knowledge and 


virtue. What we take for diversion, which is a kind of 
forgetting ourselves, is but a mean way of entertainment, 
in comparison of that which is considering, knowing, and 
enjoying ourselves. The pleasures of ordinary people jire 
in thefc passions ; but the seat of this delight is in the 
reason and understanding. Such a frame of mind raises 
that sweet enthusiasm, which warms the imagination at 
the sight of every work of nature, and turns all round 
you into a picture and landscape. I shall be ever proud of 
advices from this gentleman ; for I profess writing news 10 
from the learned, as well as the busy world. 

As for my labours, which he is pleased to inquire after, j 
if they can but wear one impertinence out of human life, 
destroy a single vice, or give a morning's cheerfulness to 
an honest mind ; in short, if the world can be but one 
virtue the better, or in any degree less vicious, or receive 
from them the smallest addition to their innocent diversions ; 
I shall not think my pains, or indeed my life, to have been 
spent in vain. 

Thus far as to my studies. It will be expected I should 20 
in the next place give some account of my life. I shall 
therefore, for the satisfaction of the present age, and the 
benefit of posterity, present the world with the following 
abridgement of it. 

It is remarkable, that I was bred by hand, and ate 
nothing but milk until I was a twelvemonth old ; from 
which time, to the eighth year of my age, I was observed 
to delight in pudding and potatoes ; and indeed I retain 
a benevolence for that sort of food to this day. I do not 
remember that I distinguished myself in any thing at 30 
those years, but by my great skill at taw, for which I 
was so barbarously used, that it has ever since given me 
an aversion to gaming. In my twelfth year, I suffered 
very much for two or three false concords. At fifteen I 
was sent to the University, and staid there for some time ; 
but a drum passing by, being a lover of music, I enlisted 


myself for a soldier. As years came on, I began to examine 
things, and grew discontented at the times. This made 
me quit the sword, and take to the study of the occult 
sciences, in which I was so wrapped up, that Oliver 
Cromwell had been buried, and taken up again, five years 
before I heard he was dead. This gave me first the 
reputation of a conjurer, which has been of great disad 
vantage to me ever since, and kept me out of all public 
employments. The greater part of my later years has been 
10 divided between Dick's coffee-house, the Trumpet in Sheer- 
lane, and my own lodgings. 


No. 181.] June 6, 1710. 

Dies, ni fallor, adest, quern semper acerbum. 
Semper honoratum, sic dii voluistis, habebo. 

Virg. ^En. v. 49. 

And now the rising day renews the year, 
A day for ever sad, for ever dear. Dry den. 

From my own Apartment, June 5. 

THERE are those among mankind, who can enjoy no relish 
of their being, except the world is made' acquainted with all 
that relates to them, and think every thing lost that passes 
20 unobserved ; but others find a solid delight in stealing by 
the crowd, and modelling their life after such a manner, as 
is as much above the approbation as the practice of the 
vulgar. Life being too short to give instances great enough 
of true friendship or good will, some sages have thought it 
pious to preserve a certain reverence for the manes of their 
deceased friends ; and have withdrawn themselves from the 
rest of the world at certain seasons, to commemorate in their 
own thoughts such of their acquaintance who have gone 
before them out of this life. And indeed, when we are 



advanced in years, there is not a more pleasing entertain 
ment, than to recollect in a gloomy moment the many we 
have parted with, that have been dear and agreeable to us, 
and to cast a melancholy thought or two after those, with 
whom, perhaps, we have indulged ourselves in whole nights 
of mirth and jollity. With such inclinations in my heart I 
went to my closet yesterday in the evening, and resolved to 
be sorrowful ; upon which occasion I could not but look with 
disdain upon myself, that though all the reasons which I 
had to lament the loss of many of my friends are now as 10 
forcible as at the moment of their departure, yet did not my 
heart swell with the same sorrow which I felt at the time ; 
but I could, without tears, reflect upon many pleasing 
adventures 1 have had with some, who have long been 
blended with common earth. Though it is by the benefit 
of nature, that length of time thus blots out the violence of 
afflictions ; yet, with tempers too much given to pleasure, 
it is almost necessary to revive the old places of grief in our 
memory ; and ponder step by step on past life, to lead the 
mind into that sobriety of thought which poises the heart, 20 
and makes it beat with due time, without being quickened 
with desire, or retarded with despair, from its proper and 
equal motion. When we wind up a clock that is out of order, 
to make it go well for the future, we do not immediately set 
the hand to the present instant, but we make it strike the 
round of all its hours, before it can recover the regularity of 
its time. Such, thought I, shall be my method this evening ; 
and since it is that day of the which I dedicate to the 
memory of such in another life as I much delighted in when 
living, an hour or two shall be sacred to sorrow and their 30 
memory, while I run over all the melancholy circumstances 
of this kind which have occurred to me in my whole life. 

The first sense of sc-row I ever knew was upon the death 
of my father, at which time I was not quite five years of 
age ; but was rather amazed at what all the house meant, 
than possessed with a real understanding why nobody was 


willing to play with me. I remember I went into the room 
where his body lay, and my mother sat weeping alone by it. 
I had my battledore in my hand, and fell a beating the 
coffin, and calling Papa ; for, I know not how, I had some 
slight idea that he was locked up there. My mother catched] 
me in her arms, and, transported beyond all patience of the 
silent grief she was before in, she almost smothered me in 
her embraces ; and told me in a flood of tears, " Papa could 
not hear me, and would play with me no more, for they were 

10 going to put him under ground, whence he could never come 
to us again." She was a very beautiful woman, of a noble 
spirit, and there was a dignity in her grief amidst 'all the 
wildness of her transport ; which, methought, struck me 
with an instinct of sorrow, that, before I was sensible of 
what it was to grieve, seized my very soul, and has made 
pity the weakness of my heart ever since. The mind in 
infancy is, methiriks, like the body in embryo ; and receives 
impressions so forcible, that they are as hard to be removed 
by reason, as any mark with which a child is born is to be 

20 taken away by any future application. Hence it is that 
good-nature in me is no merit ; but having been so fre 
quently overwhelmed with her tears before I knew the cause 
of any affliction, or could draw defences from my own 
judgment, I imbibed commiseration, remorse, and an un 
manly gentleness of mind, which has since insnared me into 
ten thousand calamities ; and from whence I can reap no 
advantage, except it be, that, in such a humour as I am now 
in, I can the better indulge myself in the softness of 
humanity, and enjoy that sweet anxiety which arises from 

30 the memory of past afflictions. 

We, that are very old, are better able to remember things 
which befell us in our distant youth, than the passages of 
later days. For this reason it is, that the companions of my 
strong and vigorous years present themselves more im 
mediately to me in this office of sorrow. Untimely and 
unhappy deaths are what we are most apt to lament ; so 


little are we able to make it indifferent when a thing 
happens, though we know it must happen. Thus we groan 
under life, and bewail those who are relieved v from it. 
Every object that returns to our imagination raises different 
passions, according to the circumstance of their departure. 
Who can have lived in an army, and in a serious hour reflect 
upon the many gay and agreeable men that might long have 
flourished in the arts of peace, and not join with the 
imprecations of the fatherless and widow on the tyrant to 
whose ambition they fell sacrifices ? But gallant men, who 10 
are cut off by the sword, move rather our veneration than 
our pity ; and we gather relief enough from their own 
contempt of death, to make that no evil, which was ap 
proached with so much cheerfulness, and attended with so 
much honour. But when we turn our thoughts from the 
great parts of life on such occasions, and instead of lamenting 
those who stood ready to give death to those from whom 
they had the fortune to receive it ; I say, when we let our 
thoughts wander from such noble objects, and consider the 
havock which is made among the tender and the innocent, 20 
pity enters with an unmixed softness, and possesses all our 
souls at once. 

Here (were there words to express such sentiments with 
proper tenderness) I should record the beauty, innocence, 
and untimely death, of the first object my eyes ever beheld 
with love. The beauteous virgin ! how ignorantly did she 
charrn, how carelessly excel 1 Oh death ! thou hast right to 
the bold, to the ambitious, to the high, and to the haughty ; 
but why this cruelty to the humble, to the meek, to the 
undiscerning, to the thoughtless ? Nor age, nor business, 30 
nor distress, can erase the dear image from my imagination. 
In the same week, I saw her dressed for a ball, and in a 
shroud. How ill did the habit of death become the pretty 

tiifler ? I still behold the smiling earth A large train of 

disasters were coming on to my memory, when my servant 
knocked at my closet-door, and interrupted me with a letter, 


attended with a hamper of wine, of the same sort with that 
which is to be put to sale on Thursday next, at Garraway's 
coffee-house. Upon the receipt of it, I sent for three of my 
friends. We are so intimate, that we can be company in 
whatever state of mind we meet, and can entertain each 
other without expecting always to rejoice. The wine we 
found to be generous and warming, but with such a heat as 
moved us rather to be cheerful than frolicksome. It 
revived the spirits, without firing the blood. We com- 
10 mended it until two of the clock this morning ; and having 
to-day met a little before dinner, we found, that though we 
drank two bottles a man, we had much more reason to 
recollect than forget what had passed the night before. 


No. 95.] November 17, 1709. 

Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati, 
Casta pudicitiam servat domus. 

Virg. Georg. ii. 523. 

His cares are eas'd with intervals of bliss ; 
His Httle children, climbing for a kiss, 
Welcome their father's late return at night. 

From my own Apartment, November 1G. 

20 THERE are several persons who have many pleasures and en 
tertainments in their possession, which they do not enjoy. It 
is, therefore, a kind and good office to acquaint them with 
their own happiness, and turn their attention to such instances 
of their good fortune as they are apt to overlook. Persons 
in the married state often want such a monitor ; and pine 
away their days, by looking upon the same condition in 
anguish and murmur, which carries with it in the opinion of 
others a complication of all the pleasures of life, and a retreat 
from its inquietudes. 


I am led into this thought by a visit I made an old friend, 
who was formerly my school-fellow. He came to town last 
week with his family for the winter, and yesterday morning 
sent me word his wife expected me to dinner. I am, as it 
were, at home at that house, and every member of it knows 
me for their well-wisher. I cannot indeed express the pleas 
ure it is, to be met by the children with so much joy as I am 
when I go thither. The boys and girls strive who shall come 
first, when they think it is I that am knocking at the door ; 
and that child which loses the race to me runs back again to 10 
tell the father it is Mr. Bickerstatf. This day I was led in 
by a pretty girl, that we all thought must have forgot me ; 
for the family has been out of town these two years. Her 
knowing me again was a mighty subject with us, and took 
up our discourse at the first entrance. After which, they 
began to rally me upon a thousand little stories they heard 
in the country, about my marriage to one of my neighbour's 
daughters. Upon which the gentleman, my friend, said, 
" Nay, if Mr. Bickerstaff marries a child of any of his old 
companions, I hope mine shall have the preference ; there is 20 
Mrs. Mary is now sixteen and would make him as fine a 
widow as the best 01 ihern. But I know him too well ; he is 
so enamoured with the very memory of those who flourished 
in our youth, that he will not so much as look upon the 
modern beauties. I remember, old gentleman, how often 
you went home in a day to refresh your countenance and 
dress when Teraminta reigned in your heart. As we came 
up in the coach, I repeated to niy wife some of your verses 
on her." With such reflections on little passages which 
happened long ago, we passed our time, during a cheerful 30 
and elegant meal. After dinner his lady left the room, as 
did also the children. As soon as we were alone, he took me 
by the hand ; " Well, my good friend," says he, " I am 
heartily glad to see thee ; I was afraid you would never have 
seen all the company that dined with you to-day again. Do 
not you think the good woman of the house a little altered 


since you followed her from the play-house, to find out who 
she was, for me ? " I perceived a tear fall down his cheek as 
he spoke, which moved me not a little. But, to turn the 
discourse, I said, " She is not indeed quite that creature she 
was, when she returned me the letter I carried from you ; 
and told me, ' she hoped, as I was a gentleman, I would be 
employed no more to trouble her, who had never offended me; 
but would be so much the gentleman's friend, as to dissuade 
him from a pursuit, which he could never succeed in.' You 

10 may remember, I thought her in earnest ; and you were forced 
to employ your cousin Will, who made his sister get acquainted 
with her, for you. You cannot expect her to be for ever 
fifteen." " Fifteen ! " replied my good friend : " Ah ! you 
little understand, you that have lived a bachelor, how great, 
how exquisite a pleasure there is, in being really beloved ! 
It is impossible, that the most beauteous face in nature should 
raise in me such pleasing ideas, as when I look upon that 
excellent woman. That fading in her countenance is chiefly 
caused by her watching with me, in my fever. This was fol- 

20 lowed by a fit of sickness, which had like to have carried 
her off last winter. I tell you sincerely, I have so many ob 
ligations to her, that I cannot, with any sort of moderation, 
think of her present state of health. But as to what you 
say of fifteen, she gives me every day pleasures beyond what 
I ever knew in the possession of her beauty, when I was in 
the vigour of youth. Every moment of her life brings me 
fresh instances of her complacency to my inclinations, and 
her prudence in regard to my fortune. Her face is to me 
much more beautiful than when I first saw it ; there is no 

30 decay in any feature, which I cannot trace, from the very 
instant it was occasioned by some anxious concern for my 
welfare and interests. Thus, at the same time, methinks, 
the love I conceived towards her for what she was, is height 
ened by my gratitude for what she is. The love of a wife is 
as much above the idle passion commonly called by that 
name, as the loud laughter of buffoons is inferior to the 


elegant mirth of gentlemen. Oh I she is an inestimable 
jewel. In her examination of her household affairs, she 
shows a certain fearfulness to find a fault, which makes her 
servants obey her like children ; and the meanest we have 
has an ingenuous shame for an offence, not always to be seen 
in children in other families. I speak freely to you, my old 
friend; ever since her sickness, things that gave me the 
quickest joy before, turn now to a certain anxiety. As the 
children play in the next room, I know the poor things by 
their steps, and am considering what they must do, should 10 
they lose their mother in their tender years. The pleasure I 
used to take in telling my boy stories of battles, and asking 
my girl questions about the disposal of her baby, and the 
gossiping of it, is turned into inward reflection and melan 

He would have gone on in this tender way, when the good 
lady entered, and with an inexpressible sweetness in her 
countenance told us, " she had been searching her closet for 
something very good, to treat such an old friend as I was." 
Her husband's eyes sparkled with pleasure at the cheerful- 20 
ness of her countenance ; and I saw all his fears vanish in 
an instant. The lady observing something in our looks 
which showed we had been more serious than ordinary, 
and seeing her husband receive her with great concern under 
a forced cheerfulness, immediately guessed at what we had 
been talking of ; and applying herself to me, said, with a 
smile, " Mr. Bickerstaff, do not believe a word of what he 
tells you, I shall still live to have you for my second, as 
I have often promised you, unless he takes more care of him 
self than he has done since his coming to town. You must 30 
know, he tells me that he finds London i"s a much more 
healthy place than the country; for he sees several of his old 
acquaintance and school-fellows are here young fellows \\itli 
fair full-bottomed periwigs. I could scarce keep him in this 
morning from going out open-breasted." My friend, who is 
uhvays extremely delighted with her agreeable humour, 


made her sit down with us. She did it with that easiness 
which is peculiar to women of sense; and to keep up the 
good humour she had brought in with her, turned her raillery 
upon me. " Mr. Bickerstaff, you remember you followed me 
one night from the play-house ; suppose you should carry me 
thither to-morrow night, and lead me into the front box/ 3 
This put us into a long field of discourse about the beauties, 
who were mothers to the present, and shined in the boxes 
twenty years ago. I told her, " I was glad she had transferred 

10 so many of her charms, and I did not question but her eldest 
daughter was within half-a-year of being a toast." 

We were pleasing ourselves with this fantastical prefer 
ment of the young lady, when on a sudden we were alarmed 
with the noise of a drum, and immediately entered my little 
godson to give me a point of war. His mother, between 
laughing and chiding, would have put him out of the room ; 
but 1 would not part with him so. I found, upon conversa 
tion with him, though he was a little noisy in his mirth, 
that the child had excellent parts, and was a great master of 

20 all the learning on the other side eight years old. I per 
ceived him a very great historian in ^Esop's Fables : but he 
frankly declared to me his mind, " that he did not delight in 
that learning, because he did not believe they were true" ; for 
which reason I found he had very much turned his studies, for 
about a twelvemonth past, into the lives and adventures of 
Don Belianis of Greece, Guy of Warwick, the Seven Champ 
ions, and other historians of that age. I could not but observe 
the satisfaction the father took in the forwardness of his son ; 
and that these diversions might turn to some profit, I found 

30 the boy had made remarks, which might be of service to him 
during the course of his whole life. He would tell you the 
mismanagements of John Hickerthrift, find fault with the 
passionate temper in Be vis of Southampton, and loved Saint 
George for being the champion of England ; and by this 
means had his thoughts insensibly moulded into the notions 
of discretion, virtue, and honour. I was extolling his ac- 


complishments, when the mother told me, "that the little 
girl who led me in this morning was in her way a better 
scholar than he. Betty/' said she, " deals chiefly in fairies 
and sprights; and sometimes in a winter-night will terrify 
the maids with her accounts, until they are afraid to go up 
to bed." 

I sat with them until it was very late, sometimes in merry, 
sometimes in serious discourse, with this particular pleasure, 
which gives the only true relish to all conversation, a sense 
that every one of us liked each other. I went home, con- 10 
sidering the different conditions of a married life and that of 
a bachelor ; and I must confess it struck me with a secret con 
cern, to reflect, that whenever I go off I shall leave no traces 
behind me. In this pensive mood I returned to my family ; 
that is to say, to my maid, my dog, and my cat, who only 
can be the better or worse for what happens to me. 


No. 34.] June 28, 1709. 

Quicquid agunt homines .... 

.... nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86. 

Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream 

Our motley paper seizes for its theme. 20 

White's Chocolate-house, June 25. 

HAVING taken upon me to cure all the distempers which 
proceed from affections of the mind, I have laboured, since 
I first kept this public stage, to do all the good I could, and 
have perfected many cures at my own lodgings ; carefully 
avoiding the common method of mountebanks, to do their 
most eminent operations in the sight of the people ; but 
must be so just to my patients as to declare, they have 
testified under their hands, their sense of my poor abilities, 
and the good I have done them, which I publish for the 30 


benefit of the world, and not out of any thoughts of private 

I have cured fine Mrs. Spy of a great imperfection in her 
eyes, which made her eternally rolling them from one 
coxcomb to another in public places, in so languishing a 
manner, that it at once lessened her own power, and her 
beholders' vanity. Twenty drops of my ink, placed in 
certain letters on which she attentively looked for half an 
hour, have restored her to the true use of her sight ; which 

10 is, to guide and not mislead us. Ever since she took the 
liquor, which I call " BickerstafFs circumspection-water," 
she looks right forward, and can bear being looked at for 
half a day without returning one glance. This water 
has a peculiar virtue in it, which makes it the only true 
cosmetic or beauty-wash in the world : the nature of it is 
such, that if you go to a glass with a design to admire your 
face, it immediately changes it into downright deformity. 
If you consult it only to look with a better countenance 
upon your friends, it immediately gives an alacrity to the 

20 visage, and new grace to the whole person. There is, 
indeed, a great deal owing to the constitution of the person 
to whom it is applied : it is in vain to give it when the 
patient is in the rage of the distemper ; a bride in her first 
month, a lady soon after her husband's being knighted, or any 
person of either sex, who has lately obtained any new good 
fortune or preferment, must be prepared some time before 
they use it. It has an effect upon others, as well as the 
patient, when it is taken in due form. Lady Petulant has 
by the use of it cured her husband of jealousy, and Lady 

30 Gad her whole neighbourhood of detraction. 

The fame of these things, added to my being an old fellow, 
makes me extremely acceptable to the fair sex. You would 
hardly believe me, when I tell you there is not a man in 
town so much their delight as myself. They make no more 
of visiting me, than going to madam Depingle's ; there were 
two of them, namely, Damia and Clidamira, (I assure you 


women of distinction) who came to see me this morning in 
their way to prayers ; and being in a very diverting humour 
(as innocence always makes people cheerful,) they would 
needs have me, according to the distinction of Pretty and 
Very Pretty Fellows, inform them if I thought either of 
them had a title to the Very Pretty among those of their 
own sex ; and if I did, which was the more deserving of 
the two? 

To put them to the trial, " Look ye," said I, " I must not 
rashly give my judgment in matters of this importance ; 10 
pray let me see you dance, I play upon the kit." They 
immediately fell back to the lower end of the room (you may 
be sure they curtsied low enough to me) and began. Never, 
were two in the world so equally matched, and both scholars 
to my namesake Isaac. Never was man in so dangerous a 
condition as myself, when they began to expand their charms. 
"Oh ! ladies, ladies," cried I, "not half that air, you will fire 
the house." Both smiled ; for, by the bye, there is no carry 
ing a metaphor too far, when a lady's charms are spoken 
of. Somebody, I think, has called a fine woman dancing, " a 20 
brandished torch of beauty." These rivals moved with such 
an agreeable freedom, that you would believe their gesture 
was the necessary effect of the music, and not the product 
of skill and practice. Now Clidamira came on with a crowd 
of graces, and demanded my judgment with so sweet an air 
and she had no sooner carried it, but Damia made her 
utterly forgot, by a gentle sinking, and a rigadoon step. 
The contest held a full half-hour ; and, I protest, I saw no 
manner of difference in their perfections, until they came up 
together, and expected sentence. " Look ye, ladies," said I, 30 
" I see no difference in the least in your performance ; but 
you, Clidamira, seem to be so well satisfied that I shall 
determine for you, that I must give it to Damia, who stands 
with so much diffidence and fear, after showing an equal 
merit to what she pretends to. Therefore, Cliduinira, you 
are a pretty ; but, Damia, you are a very pretty lady : for " 


said I, ' ; beauty loses its force, if not accompanied with 
modesty. She that has an humble opinion of herself, will 
have everybody's applause, because she does not expect it ; 
while the vain creature loses approbation through too great 
a sense of deserving it." 

Being of a very spare and hective constitution, I am forced 
to make frequent journeys of a mile or two for fresh air ; 
and indeed by this last, which was no farther than the 
village of Chelsea, I am farther convinced of the necessity of 

10 travelling to know the world ; for, as it is usual with young 
voyagers, as soon as they land upon a shore, to begin their 
accounts of the nature of the people, their soil, their govern 
ment, their inclinations, and their passions ; so really I 
fancied I could give you an immediate description of this 
village, from the five fields where the robbers lie in wait, 
to the coffee-house where the Literati sit in council. A 
great ancestor of ours by the mother's side, Mr. Justice 
Overdo (whose history is written by Ben Jonson), met with 
more enormities by walking incognito than he was capable 

20 of correcting ; and found great mortifications in observing 
also persons of eminence, whom he before knew nothing of. 
Thus it fared with me, even in a place so near the town as 
this. When I came into the coffee-house, I had not time 
to salute the company, before my eye was diverted by ten 
thousand gimcracks round the room, and on the ceiling. 
When my first astonishment was over, comes to me a sage 
of a thin and meagre countenance ; which aspect made me 
doubt, whether reading or fretting had made it so philo 
sophic : but I very soon perceived him to be of that sect 

30 which the ancients call Gingivistse ; in our language, tooth- 
drawers. I immediately had a respect for the man ; for 
these practical philosophers go upon a rational hypothesis, 
not to cure, but take away the part affected. My love of 
mankind made me very benevolent to Mr. Salter ; for such 
is the name of this eminent barber and antiquary. Men 
are usually, but unjustly distinguished rather by their 


fortunes than their talents, otherwise this personage would 
make a great figure in that class of men which I distinguish 
under the title of Odd Fellows. But it is the misfortune of 
persons of great genius to have their faculties dissipated 
by attention to too many things at once. Mr. Salter is an 
instance of this : if he would wholly give himself up to 
the string, instead of playing twenty beginnings to tunes, he 
might, before he dies, play Roger de Caubly quite out. I 
heard him go through his whole round, and indeed I think 
he does play the merry " Christ Church Bells " pretty justly ; 10 
but he confessed to me, he did that rather to show he was 
orthodox, than that he valued himself upon the music itself. 
Or, if he did proceed in his anatomy, why might he not hope 
in time to cut off legs, as well as draw teeth ? The particu 
larity of this man put me into a deep thought, whence it 
should proceed, that of all the lower order, barbers should 
go further in hitting the ridiculous than any other set of 
men. Watermen brawl, cobblers sing : but why must a 
barber be for ever a politician, a musician, an anatomist, a 
poet, and a physician ? The learned Vossius says his barber 20 
used to comb his head in Iambics. And indeed, in all 
ages, one of this useful profession, this order of cosmetic 
philosophers, has been celebrated by the most eminent hands. 
You see the barber in Don Quixote is one of the principal 
characters in the history ; which gave me satisfaction in the 
doubt, why Don Saltero writ his name with a Spanish ter 
mination : for he is descended in a right line, not from John 
Tradescant, as he himself asserts, but from that memorable 
companion of the knight of Mancha. And I hereby certify 
all the worthy citizens who travel to see his rarities, that 30 
his double-barrelled pistols, targets, coats of mail, his 
Sclopeta and sword of Toledo, were left to his ancestor by 
the said Don Quixote, and by the said ancestor to all his 
progeny down to Don Saltero. Though I go thus far in 
favour of Don Saltero's great merit, I cannot allow a liberty 
he takes of imposing several names (without my licence) on 


the collections he has made, to the abuse of the good people 
of England ; one of which is particularly calculated to deceive 
religious persons, to the great scandal of the well-disposed, 
and may introduce heterodox opinions. He shows you a 
straw-hat, which I know to be made by Madge Peskad, 
within three miles of Bedford ; and tells you, " It is Pontius 
Pilate's wife's chambermaid's sister's hat." To my knowledge 
of this very hat it may be added, that the covering of straw 
was never used among the Jews, since it was demanded of 

10 them to make bricks without it. Therefore this is really 
nothing but, under the specious pretence of learning and 
antiquities, to impose upon the world. There are other 
things which I cannot tolerate among his rarities : as, 
the china figure of a lady in the glass-case ; the Italian 
engine for the imprisonment of those who go abroad with 
it : both which I hereby order to be taken down, or else he 
may expect to have his letters patent for making punch 
superseded, be debarred wearing his muff next winter, or 
ever coming to London without his wife. It may perhaps 

20 be thought, I have dwelt too long upon the affairs of this 
operator ; but I desire the reader to remember, that it is 
my way to consider men as they stand in merit, and not 
according to their fortune or figure ; and if he is in a coffee 
house at the reading hereof, let him look round, and he will 
find, there may be more characters drawn in this account 
than that of Don Saltero ; for half the politicians about him, 
he may observe, are by their place in nature, of the class of 



No. 263.] December 14, 1710. 

Minimi contentos nocte Britannos. 

Juv. Sat. ii. 161. 

Britons contented with the shortest night. 

From my own Apartment, December 13. 

AN old friend of mine being lately come to town, I went 
to see him on Tuesday last about eight o'clock in the 
evening, with a design to sit with him an hour or two, 
and talk over old stories ; but, upon enquiry after him, I 
found he was gone to bed. The next morning, as soon as 
I was up and dressed, and had despatched a little busi 
ness, I came again to my friend's house about eleven 10 
o'clock, with a design to renew my visit ; but, upon asking 
for him, his servant told me he was just sat down to dinner. 
In short, I found that my old-fashioned friend religiously 
adhered to the example of his forefathers, and observed 
the same hours that had been kept in the family ever since 
the Conquest. 

It is very plain, that the night was much longer for 
merly in this island than it is at present. By the night, 
I mean that portion of time which nature has thrown into 
darkness, and which the wisdom of mankind had formerly 20 
dedicated to rest and silence. This used to begin at eight 
o'clock in the evening, and conclude at six in the morning. 
The curfew, or eight o'clock bell, was the signal through 
out the nation for putting out their candles and going to 

Our grandmothers, though they were wont to sit up the 
last in the family, were all of them fast asleep at the 
same hours that their daughters are busy at crimp and 
basset. Modern statesmen are concerting schemes, and 
engaged in the depth of politics, at the time when their 30 


forefathers were laid down quietly to rest, and had nothing 
in their heads but dreams. As we have thus thrown 
business and pleasure into the hours of rest, and by that 
means made the natural night but half as long as .it should 
be, we are forced to piece it out with a great part of the 
morning ; so that near two-thirds of the nation lie fast 
asleep for several hours in broad day light. This irregu 
larity is grown so very fashionable at present, that there 
is scarce a lady of quality in Great Britain that ever saw 

10 the sun rise. And, if the humour increases in proportion 
to what it has done of late years, it is not impossible but 
our children may hear the bellman going about the streets 
at nine o'clock in the morning, and the watch making 
their rounds until eleven. This unaccountable disposition 
in mankind to continue awake in the night, and sleep in 
the sunshine, has made me enquire, whether the same 
change of inclination has happened to any other animals ? 
For this reason, I desired a friend of mine in the country 
to let me know, whether the lark rises as early as he 

20 did formerly ; and whether the cock begins to crow at 
his usual hour. My friend answered me, "that his poultry 
are as regular as ever, and that all the birds and beasts 
of his neighbourhood keep the same hours that they have 
observed in the memory of man ; and the same which, 
in all probability, they have kept for these five thousand 

If you would see the innovations that have been made 
among us in this particular, you may only look into the 
hours of colleges, where they still dine at eleven, and 

30 sup at six, which were doubtless the hours of the whole 
nation at the time when those places were founded. But 
at present, the courts of justice are scarce opened in 
Westminster-hall at the time when William Bufus used 
to go to dinner in it. All business is driven forward. 
The land-marks of our fathers, if I may so call them, are 
removed, and planted further up into the day ; insomuch, 


that I am afraid our clergy will be obliged, if they expect 
full congregations, not to look any more upon ten o'clock in 
the morning as a canonical hour. In my own memory, the 
dinner has crept by degrees from twelve o'clock to three, 
and where it will fix nobody knows. 

I have sometimes thought to draw up a memorial in 
the behalf of Supper against Dinner, setting forth, that 
the said Dinner has made several encroachments upon the 
said Supper, and entered very far upon his frontiers ; 
that he has banished him out of several families, and in 10 
all has driven him from his headquarters, and forced him 
to make his retreat into the hours of midnight ; and, in 
short, that he is now in danger of being entirely con 
founded and lost in a breakfast. Those who have read 
Lucian, and seen the complaints of the letter T against S, 
upon account of many injuries and usurpations of the same 
nature, will not, I believe, think such a memorial forced 
and unnatural. If dinner has been thus postponed, or, if 
you please, kept back from time to time, you may be 
sure that it has been in compliance with the other 20 
business of the day, and that supper has still observed a 
proportionable distance. There is a venerable proverb, 
which we have all of us heard in our infancy, of " putting 
the children to bed, and laying the goose to the fire." 
This was one of the jocular sayings of our forefathers, 
but may be properly used in the literal sense at present. 
Who would not wonder at this perverted relish of those who 
are reckoned the most polite part of mankind, that prefer 
sea-coals and candles to the sun, and exchange so many 
cheerful morning hours, for the pleasures of midnight 30 
revels and debauches 1 If a man was only to consult his 
health, he would choose to live his whole time, if possible, 
in daylight ; and to retire out of the world into silence 
and sleep, while the raw damps and unwholesome vapours 
fly abroad, without a sun to disperse, moderate, or control 
them. For my own part, I value an hour in the morning 


as much as common libertines do an hour at midnight. 
When I find myself -awakened into being, and perceive 
my life renewed within me, and at the same time see the 
whole face of nature recovered out of the dark, uncomfort 
able state in which it lay for several hours, my heart 
overflows with such secret sentiments of joy and gratitude, 
as are a kind of implicit praise to the great Author of 
Nature. The mind, in these early seasons of the day, is so 
refreshed in all its faculties, and borne up with such new 

10 supplies of animal spirits, that she finds herself in a state of 
youth, especially when she is entertained with the breath of 
flowers, the melody of birds, the dews that hang upon the 
plants, and all those other sweets of nature that are peculiar 
to the morning. 

It is impossible for a man to have this relish of being, 
this exquisite taste of life, who does not come into the world 
before it is in all its noise and hurry ; who loses the rising 
of the sun, the still hours of the day, and, immediately upon 
his first getting up, plunges himself into the ordinary cares 

20 or follies of the world. 


No. 77.] October 5, 1709. 

Quicquid agunt homines 

.... nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. I 85, 86. 

Whatever good is done, whatever ill, 

By human kind, shall this collection fill. 

From my own Apartment, October 5. 

As bad as the world is, I find by very strict observation 
upon virtue and vice, that if men appeared no worse than 
they really are, I should have less work than at present I 
am obliged to undertake for their reformation. They have 
30 generally taken up a kind of inverted ambition, and affect 


even faults and imperfections of which they are innocent. 
The other day in a coffee-house I stood by a young heir, 
with a fresh, sanguine, and healthy look, who entertained us 
with an account of his diet-drink ; though, to my knowledge, 
he is as sound as any of his tenants. 

This worthy youth put me into reflections upon that 
subject ; and I observed the fantastical humour to be so 
general, that there is hardly a man who is not more or less 
tainted with it. The first of this order of men are the 
valetudinarians, who are never in health ; but complain of 10 
want of stomach or rest every day until noon, and then 
devour all which comes before them. Lady Dainty is 
convinced, that it is necessary for a gentlewoman to be out of 
order ; and, to preserve that character, she dines every day 
in her closet at twelve, that she may become her table at 
two, and be unable to eat in public. About five years ago, 
I remember, it was the fashion to be short-sighted. A man 
would not own an acquaintance until he had first examined 
him with his glass. At a lady's entrance into the play 
house, you might see tubes immediately levelled at her from 20 
every quarter of the pit and side-boxes. However, that ] 
mode of infirmity is out, and the age has recovered its sight: j 
but the blind seemed to be succeeded by the lame, and a 
jaunty limp is the present beauty. I think I have formerly 
observed, a cane is part of the dress of a prig, and always 
worn upon a button, for fear he should be thought to have 
an occasion for it, or be esteemed really, and not genteely a 
cripple. I have considered, but could never find out the 
bottom of this vanity. I indeed have heard of a Gascon 
general, who, by the lucky grazing of a bullet on the roll of 30 
his stocking, took occasion to halt all his life after. But as 
for our peaceable cripples, I know no foundation for their 
behaviour, without it may be supposed that, in this warlike 
age, some think a cane the next honour to a wooden leg. 
This sort of affectation I have known run from one limb or 
member to another. Before the limpers came in, I remember 


a race of lispers, fine persons, who took an aversion to 
particular letters in our language. Some never uttered the 
letter H ; and others had as mortal an aversion to S. 
Others have had their fashionable defect in their ears, and 
would make you repeat all you said twice over. I know an 
ancient friend of mine, whose table is every day surrounded 
with flatterers, that makes use of this, sometimes as a piece 
of grandeur, and at others as an art, to make them repeat 
their commendations. Such affectations have been indeed in 

10 the world in ancient times ; but they fell into them out of 
politic ends. Alexander the Great had a wry neck, which 
made it the fashion in his court to carry their heads 
on one side when they came into the presence. One who 
thought to outshine the whole court, carried his head so 
over complaisantly, that this martial prince gave him so 
great a box on the ear, as set all the heads of the court 

This humour takes place in our minds as well as bodies. 
I know at this time a young gentleman, who talks atheisti- 

20 cally all day in coffee-houses, and in his degrees of under 
standing sets up for a free-thinker > though it can be proved 
upon him, he says his prayers every morning and evening. 
But this class of modern wits I shall reserve for a chapter 
by itself. 

Of the like turn are all your marriage-haters, who rail at 
the noose, at the words, " for ever and aye," and at the same 
time are secretly pining for some young thing or other that 
makes their hearts ache by her refusal. The next to these 
are such as pretend to govern their wives, and boast how ill 

30 they use them, when, at the same time, go to their houses 
and you shall see them step as if they feared making a noise, 
and are as fond as an alderman. I do not know but some 
times these pretences may arise from a desire to conceal a 
contrary defect than that they set up for. I remember, 
when I was a young fellow, we had a companion of a very 
fearful complexion, who, when we sat in to drink, would 


desire us to take his sword from him when he grew fuddled, 
for it was his misfortune to be quarrelsome. 

There are many, many of these evils, which demand my 
observation ; but because I have of late been thought some 
what too satirical, I shall give them warning, and declare to 
the whole world, that they are not true, but false hypocrites ; 
and make it out that they are good men in their hearts. The 
motive of this monstrous affectation, in the above-mentioned 
and the like particulars, I take to proceed from that noble 
thirst of fame and reputation which is planted in the hearts 10 
of all men. As this produces elegant writings and gallant 
actions in men of great abilities, it also brings forth spurious 
productions in men who are not capable of distinguishing 
themselves by things which are really praise-worthy. As the 
desire of fame in men of true wit and gallantry shows itseli 
in proper instances, the same desire in men who have the 
ambition without proper faculties, runs wild and discovers 
itself in a thousand extravagancies, by which they wouki 
signalize themselves from others, and gain a set of admirers. 
When I was a middle-aged man, there were many societies 20 
of ambitious young men in England, who, in their pursuits 
after fame, were every night employed in roasting porters, 
smoking cobblers, knocking down watchmen, overturning 
constables, breaking windows, blackening signposts, and the 
like immortal enterprises, that dispersed their reputation 
throughout the whole kingdom. One could hardly find a 
knocker at a door in a whole street after a midnight 
expedition of these beaux esprits. I was lately very much 
surprised by an account of my maid, who entered my 
bed-chamber this morning in a very great fright, and told 30 
me, she was afraid my parlour was haunted ; for that she 
had found several panes of my windows broken, and the 
floor strewed with half-pence. I have not yet a full light 
into this new way, but am apt to think, that it is a generous 
piece of wit that some of my contemporaries make use of, to 
break windows, and leave money to pay for them. 



No. 248.] November 9, 1710. 

Media sese tulit obvia silva 
Virginis os habitumque gerens. 

Yirg. JSn. i 314. 

Lo ! in the deep recesses of the wood, 
Before my eyes a beauteous form appears, 
A virgin's dress, and modest looks she wears. 

From my own Apartment, November 8. 

IT may perhaps appear ridiculous, but I must confess, 
this last summer, as I was riding in Enfield-chase, I met 
a young lady whom I could hardly get out of my head, 

10 and for ought I know, my heart, ever since. She was 
mounted 011 a pad, with a very well-fancied furniture. 
She set her horse with a very graceful air ; and, when I 
saluted her with my hat, she bowed to me so obligingly 
that whether it was her civility or beauty that touched 
me so much, I know not ; but I am sure I shall never 
forget her. She dwells in my imagination in a figure so 
much to her advantage, that if I were to draw a picture of 
youth, health, beauty, or modesty, I should represent any 
or all of them, in the person of that young woman. 

20 I do not find that there are any descriptions in the 
ancient poets so beautiful as those they draw of nymphs 
in their pastoral dresses and exercises. Virgil gives Venus 
the habit of a Spartan huntress when she is to put ^Eneas 
in his way, and relieve his cares with the most agreeable 
object imaginable. Diana and her train are always de 
scribed as inhabitants of the woods, and followers of the 
chase. To be well diverted, is the safest guard to inno 
cence ; and, methinks, it should be one of the first things 
to be regarded among people of condition, to find out 

30 proper amusements for young ladies. I cannot but think 


this of riding might easily be revived among them, when 
they consider how much it must contribute to their 
beauty. This would lay up the best portion they could 
bring into a family, a good stock of health, to transmit to 
their posterity. Such a charming bloom as this gives the 
countenance, is very much preferable to the real or affected 
feebleness or softness, which appear in the faces of our 
modern beauties. 

The comedy, called, The Ladies' Cure, represents the \ 
affectation of wan looks and languid glances to a very JO 
entertaining extravagance. There is, as the lady in the 
play complains, something so robust in perfect health, 
that it is with her a point of breeding and delicacy to 
appear in public with a sickly air. But the natural gaiety 
and spirit which shine in the complexion of such as form 
to themselves a sort of diverting industry, by choosing 
recreations that are exercises, surpass all the false orna 
ments and graces that can be put on by applying the 
whole dispensary of a toilet. A healthy body, and a 
cheerful mind, give charms as irresistible as inimitable. 20 
The beauteous Dyctinna, who came to town last week, has, 
from the constant prospect in a delicious country, and the 
moderate exercise and journeys in the visits she made 
round it, contracted a certain life in her countenance, which 
will in vain employ both the painters and the poets to 
represent. The becoming negligence in her dress, the severe 
sweetness of her looks, and a certain innocent boldness in 
all her behaviour, are the effect of the active recreations I 
am talking of. 

But instead of such, or any other as innocent and 30 
pleasing method of passing away their time with alacrity, 
we have many in town who spend their hours in an 
indolent state of body and mind, without either recreations 
or reflections. I am apt to believe there are some parents 
imagine their daughters will be accomplished enough, if 
nothing interrupts their growth, or their shape. According 


to this method of education, I could name you twenty 
families, where all the girls hear of, in this life, is,, that it 
is time to rise and come to dinner, as if they were so in 
significant as to be wholly provided for when they are fed 
and clothed. 

It is with great indignation that I see such crowds of 
the female world lost to human society, and condemned 
to a laziness, which makes life pass away with less relish 
than in the hardest labour. Palestris, in her drawing-room, 

10 is supported by spirits to keep off the returns of spleen and 
melancholy, before she can get over half of the day for want 
of something to do, while the wench in the kitchen sings and 
scours from morning to night. 

The next disagreeable thing to a lazy lady, is a very 
busy one. A man of business in good company, who 
gives an account of his abilities and despatches, is hardly 
more insupportable than her they call a notable woman, 
and a manager. Lady Good-day, where I visited the 
other day, at a very polite circle, entertained a great lady 

20 with a recipe for a poultice, and gave us to understand, 
that she had done extraordinary cures since she was last 
in town. It seems a countryman had wounded himself 
with his scythe as he was mowing, and we were obliged 
to hear of her charity, her medicine, and her humility, 
in the harshest tone and coarsest language imaginable. 

What I would request in all this prattle is, that our 
females would either let us have their persons, or their 
minds, in such perfection as nature designed them. 

The way to this is, that those who are in the quality of 

30 gentlewomen, should propose to themselves some suitable 
method of passing away their time. This would furnish 
them with reflections and sentiments proper for the 
companions of reasonable men, and prevent the unnatural 
marriages which happen every day between the most 
accomplished women and the veriest oafs, the worthiest 
men and the most insignificant females. Were the general 


turn of women's education of another kind than it is at 
present, we should want one another for more reasons 
than we do as the world now goes. The common design 
of parents, is to get their girls off as well as they can ; 
and they make no conscience of putting into our hands a 
bargain for our whole life, which will make our hearts 
ache every day of it. I shall, therefore, take this matter 
into serious consideration, and will propose, for the better 
improvement of the fair sex, a Female Library. This 
collection of books shall consist of such authors as do not 10 
corrupt while they divert, but shall tend more immedi 
ately to improve them as they are women. They shall be 
such as shall not hurt a feature by the austerity of their 
reflections, nor cause one impertinent glance by the 
wantonness of them. They shall all tend to advance the 
value of their innocence as virgins, improve* their under 
standing as wives, and regulate their tenderness as 
parents. It has been very often said in these lucubra 
tions, " that the ideas which most frequently pass through 
our imaginations, leave traces of themselves in our 20 
countenances." There shall be a strict regard had to this 
in my Female Library, which shall be furnished with 
nothing that shall give supplies to ostentation or imperti 
nence ; but the whole shall be so digested for the use of 
my students, that they shall not go out of character in 
their enquiries, but their knowledge appear only a culti 
vated innocence. 


No. 151.] March 28, 1710. 

Ni vis boni 
In ipsa inesset forma, heec formam extinguerent. Ter. 

These things would extinguish beauty, if there were not an innate 
pleasure-giving energy in beauty itself. 

From my own Apartment, March 27. 

WHEN artists would expose their diamonds to an advantage, 
they usually set them to show in little cases of black velvet. 
By this means the jewels appear in their true and genuine 
lustre, while there is no colour that can infect their bright- 

10 ness, or give a false cast to the water. When I was at the 
opera the other night, the assembly of ladies in mourning 
made me consider them in the same kind of view. A dress 
wherein there is so little variety shows the face in all its 
natural charms, and makes one differ from another only as it 
is more or less beautiful. Painters are ever careful of 
offending against a rule which is so essential in all just re 
presentations. The chief figure must have the strongest 
point of light, and not be injured by any gay colourings that 
may draw away the attention to any less considerable part of 

20 the picture. The present fashion obliges everybody to be 
dressed with prtJpfiety, and makes the ladies' faces the prin-- 
objectsfol sight. Every beautiful person shines out in 
the excelleinsrWith which nature has adorned her; gaudy 
ribbons and glaring colours being now out of use, the sex has 
no opportunity given them to disfigure themselves, which 
they seldom fail to do whenever it lies in their power. When 
a woman comes to her glass, she does not employ her time in 
1 making herself look more advantageously what she really is ; 
I but endeavours to be as much another creature as she pos- 

30 sibly can. Whether this happens because they stay so long, 
and attend their work so diligently, that they forget the 
faces and persons which they first sat down with, or, what- 


ever it is, they seldom rise from the toilet the same women 
they appeared when they began to dress. What jewel can 
the charming Cleora place in her ears that can please her be 
holders so much as her eyes ? The cluster of diamonds upon 
the breast can add no beauty to the fair chest of ivory which 
supports it. It may indeed tempt a man to steal a woman, 
but never to love her. Let Thalestris change herself into 
a motley party-coloured animal : the pearl necklace, the 
flowered stomacher, the artificial nosegay, and shaded furbe 
low, may be of use to attract the eye of the beholder, and 10 
turn it from the imperfections of her features and shape. 
But if ladies will take my word for it (and as they dress 
to please men, they ought to consult our fancy rather than 
their own in this particular,) I can assure them, there is 
nothing touches our imagination so much as a beautiful 
woman in a plain dress. There might be more agreeable 
ornaments found in our own manufacture, than any that 
rise out of the looms of Persia. 

This, I know, is a very harsh doctrine to womankind, who 
are carried away with everything that is showy, and with 20 
what delights the eye, more than any other species of living 
creatures whatsoever. Were the minds of the sex laid open, 
we should find the chief idea in one to be a tippet, in another 
a muff, in a third a fan, and in a fourth a farthingale. The 
memory of an old visiting lady is so filled with gloves, silks, 
and ribbons, that I can look upon it as nothing else but 
a toy-shop. A matron of my acquaintance, complaining of 
her daughter's vanity, was observing, that she had all of a 
sudden held up her head higher than ordinary, and taken an 
air that showed a secret satisfaction in herself, mixed with a 30 
scorn of others. " I did not know," says my friend, "what 
to make of the carriage of this fantastical girl, until I was 
informed by her eldest sister, that she had a pair of striped 
garters on." This odd turn of mind often makes the sex un 
happy, and disposes them to be struck with everything that 
makes a show, however trifling and superficial. 


Many a lady has fetched a sigh at the toss of a wig, and 
been ruined by the tapping of a snuff-box. It is impossible 
to describe all the execution that was done by the shoulder- 
knot while that fashion prevailed, or to reckon up all the 
maidens that have fallen a sacrifice to a pair of fringed 
gloves. A sincere heart has not made half so many con 
quests as an open waistcoat; and I should be g]ad to see 
an able head make so good a figure in a woman's company as 
a pair of red heels. A Grecian hero, when he was asked 

10 whether he could play upon the lute, thought he had made a 
very good reply, when he answered, " No ; but I can make a 
great city of a little one." Notwithstanding his boasted 
wisdom, I appeal to the heart of any toast in town, whether 
she would not think the lutenist preferable to the statesman ? 
I do not speak this out of any aversion that I have to the 
sex ; on the contrary, I have always had a tenderness for 
them ; but, I must confess, it troubles me very much to see 
the generality of them place their affections on improper 
objects, and give up all the pleasures of life for gewgaws and 

20 trifles. 

Mrs. Margery Bickerstaff, my great aunt, had a thousand 
pounds to her portion, which our family was desirous of 
keeping among themselves, and therefore used all possible 
means to turn off her thoughts from marriage. The method 
they took was, in any time of danger, to throw a new gown 
or petticoat in her way. When she was about twenty-five 
years of age, she fell in love with a man of an agreeable 
temper and equal fortune, and would certainly have married 
him, had not my grandfather, sir Jacob, dressed her up in a 

30 suit of flowered satin ; upon which she set so immoderate a 
value upon herself, that the lover was contemned and dis 
carded. In the fortieth year of her age she was again 
smitten ; but very luckily transferred her passion to a tippet, 
which was presented to her by another relation who was in 
the plot. This, with a white sarsenet hood, kept her safe in 
the family until fifty. About sixty, which generally pro- 


duces a kind of latter spring in amorous constitutions, my 
aunt Margery had again a colt's tooth in her head; and 
would certainly have eloped from the mansion-house, had 
not her brother Simon, who was a wise man and a scholar, 
advised to dress her in cherry-coloured ribbons, which was 
the only expedient that could have been found out by the 
wit of man to preserve the thousand pounds in our family, 
part of which I enjoy at this time. 

This discourse puts me in mind of a humourist mentioned 
by Horace, called Eutrapelus, who, when he designed to do a 10 
man a mischief, made him a present of a gay suit; and 
brings to my memory another passage of the same author, 
when he describes the most ornamental dress that a woman 
can appear in, with two words, simplex munditiis, which I 
have quoted for the benefit of my female readers. 

No. 132.] February 11, 1710. 

Habeo senectnti magnam gratiam, quae mihi sermonis aviditatem 
auxit, potionis et cibi sustulit. lull. De Senect. 

I am much beholden to old age, which has increased my eagerness 
for conversation, in proportion as it has lessened my appetites of 
hunger and thirst. 20 

Shire-Lane, February 10. 

AFTER having applied my mind with more than ordinary 
attention to my studies, it is my usual custom to relax and 
unbend it in the conversation of such as are rather easy 
than shining companions. This I find particularly necessary 
for me before I retire to rest, in order to draw my slumbers 
upon me by degrees, and fall asleep insensibly. This is the 
particular use I make of a set of heavy honest men, with 
whom I have passed many hours with much indolence, 
though not with great pleasure. Their conversation is a kind 30 


of preparative for sleep : it takes the mind down from its 
abstractions, leads it into the familiar traces of thought, and 
lulls it into that state of tranquillity, which is the condition 
of a thinking man, when he is but half awake. After this, 
my readers will not be surprised to hear the account which I 
am about to give of a club of my own contemporaries, among 
whom I pass two or three hours every evening. This I look 
upon as taking my first nap before I go to bed. The truth 
of it is, I should think myself unjust to posterity, as well as 

10 to the society at the Trumpet, of which I am a member, did 
not I in some part of my writings give an account of the 
persons among whom I have passed almost a sixth part of 
my time for these last forty years. Our club consisted 
originally of fifteen ; but, partly by the severity of the law 
in arbitrary times, and partly by the natural effects of old 
age, we are at present reduced to a third part of that 
number ; in which, however, we have this consolation, that 
the best company is said to consist of five persons. I must 
confess, besides the aforementioned benefit which I meet 

20 with in the conversation of this select society, I am not the 
less pleased with the company, in that I find myself the 
greatest wit among them, and am heard as their oracle in all 
points of learning and difficulty. 

Sir Jeffery Notch, who is the oldest of the club, has been 
in possession of the right-hand chair time out of mind, and 
is the only man among us that has the liberty of stirring 
the fire. This, our foreman, is a gentleman of an ancient 
family, that came to a great estate some years before he had 
discretion, and run it out in hounds, horses, and cock- 

30 fighting ; for which reason he looks upon himself as an 
honest, worthy gentleman, who has had misfortunes in the 
world, and calls every thriving man a pitiful upstart. 

Major Matchlock is the next senior, who served in the last 
civil wars, and has all the battles by heart. He does not 
think any action in Europe worth talking of since the fight 
of Marston Moor ; and every night tells us of his having 


been knocked off his horse at the rising of the London 
apprentices ; for which he is in great esteem among us. 

Honest old Dick Reptile is the third of our society. He is 
a good-natured indolent man, who speaks little himself, but 
laughs at our jokes ; and brings his young nephew along 
with him, a youth of eighteen years old, to show him good 
company, and give him a taste of the world. This young 
fellow sits generally silent ; but whenever he opens his 
mouth, or laughs at any thing that passes, he is constantly 
told by his uncle, after a jocular manner, " Ay, ay, Jack, you 10 
young men think us fools ; but we old men know you are." 

The greatest wit of our company, next to myself, is a 
bencher of the neighbouring inn, who in his youth frequented 
the ordinaries about Charing Cross, and pretends to have 
been intimate with Jack Ogle. He has about ten distichs of 
Hudibras without book, and never leaves the club until he 
has applied them all. If any modern wit be mentioned, or 
any town -frolic spoken of, he shakes his head at the dulness 
of the present age, and tells us a story of Jack Ogle. 

For my own part, I am esteemed among them, because 20 
they see I am something respected by others ; though at the 
same time I understand by their behaviour, that I am con 
sidered by them as a man of a great deal of learning, but no 
knowledge of the world ; insomuch, that the major some 
times, in the height of his military pride, calls me the 
Philosopher : and Sir Jeffery, no longer ago than last 
night, upon a dispute what day of the month it was then in 
Holland, pulled his pipe out of his mouth, and cried, " What 
does the scholar say to it ? " 

Our ci[ub meets precisely at six o'clock in the evening ; but I 30 
did not come last evening until half an hour after seven, by 
which means I escaped the battle of Naseby, which the 
major usually begins at about three quarters after six : I 
found also, that my good friend the bencher had already 
spent three of his distichs ; and only waited an opportunity 
to hear a sermon spoken of, that he might introduce the 


couplet where "a stick" rhymes to "ecclesiastic." At my 
entrance into the room, they were naming a red petticoat 
and a cloak, by which I found that the bencher had been 
diverting them with a story of Jack Ogle. 

I had no sooner taken my seat, but Sir Jeffery, to show 
his good-will towards me, gave me a pipe of his own 
tobacco, and stirred up the fire. I look upon it as a point of 
morality, to be obliged by those who endeavour to oblige 
me ; and therefore, in requital for his kindness, and to set 

10 the conversation a-going, I took the best occasion I could to 
put him upon telling us the story of old Gauntlett, which he 
always does with very particular concern. He traced up his 
descent on both sides for several generations, describing his 
diet and manner of life, with his several battles, and 
particularly that in which he fell. This Gauntlett was a 
game cock, upon whose head the knight, in his youth, had 
won five hundred pounds, and lost two thousand. This 
naturally set the major upon the account of Edge-hill fight, 
and ended in a duel of Jack Ogle's. 

20 Old Reptile was extremely attentive to all that was said, 
though it was the same he had heard every night for these 
twenty years, and, upon all occasions, winked upon his 
nephew to mind what passed. 

This may suffice to give the world a taste of our innocent 
conversation, which we spun out until about ten of the 
clock, when my maid came with a lantern to light me home. 
I could not but reflect with myself, as I was going out, upon 
the talkative humour of old men, and the little figure which 
that part of life makes in one who cannot employ his natural 

30 propensity in discourses which would make him venerable. 
I must own, it makes me very melancholy in company, when 
I hear a young man begin a story ; and have often observed, 
that one of a quarter of an hour long in a man of five-and- 
twenty, gathers circumstances every time he tells it, until it 
grows into a long Canterbury tale of two hours by that time 
he is threescore. 


The only way of avoiding such a trifling and frivolous old 
age is, to lay up in our way to it such stores of knowledge 
and observation, as may make us useful and agreeable in our 
declining years. The mind of man in a long life will become 
a magazine of wisdom or folly, and will consequently dis 
charge itself in something impertinent or improving. For 
which reason, as there is nothing more ridiculous than an 
old trifling story-teller, so there is nothing more venerable, 
than one who has turned his experience to the entertainment 
and advantage of mankind. 10 

In short, we, who are in the last stage of life, and are apt 
to indulge ourselves in talk, ought to consider, if what we 
speak be worth being heard, and endeavour to make our 
discourse like that of Nestor, which Homer compares to the 
flowing of honey for its sweetness. 

I am afraid I shall be thought guilty of this excess I am 
speaking of, when I cannot conclude without observing, that 
Milton certainly thought of this passage in Homer, when, in 
his description of an eloquent spirit, he says, 

His tongue dropped manna. 20 


No. 124] January 24, 1710. 

Ex humili magna ad fastigia rerum 
Extollit, quoties voluit fortuna jocari. 

Juv. Sat. iii. 39. 

Fortune can, for her pleasure, fools advance, 
And toss them on the wheels of chance. Dry den. 

From my own Apartment, January 23. 
I WENT on Saturday last to make a visit in the city ; and 
as I passed through Cheapside, I saw crowds of people 
turning down towards the Bank, and struggling who 


should first get their money into the new-erected lottery. 
"Tt gave mFlT~^eiat_.notiQlL-fl|Zt^6 credit of our present- 
\government and administration, to find people press_as 
eagerly to pay money as theywould 'to receive it ; and, 
at the "same 'time, a due respeclT~toT~that boo!y~of men 
who have found out so pleasing an expedient for carrying 
on the common cause, that they have turned a tax into 
)a__diversion. The cheerfulness or~spiiil, and the hupuu oT"" 
/ success, which this project has occasioned in this great city, 

1^ lightens the burden of the war, and put me in mind of 
^sonie games, which, they say, were invented by wise men, 
who were lovers of their country, to make their fellow- 
citizens undergo the tediousness and fatigues of a long 
siege. I think there is a kind of homage due to Fortune, 
if I may call it so ; and that I should be wanting to my 
self, if I did not lay in my pretences to her favour, and 
pay my compliments to her by recommending a ticket to 
her disposal. For this reason, upon my return to my 
lodgings, I sold off a couple of globes and a telescope, 

20 which, with the cash I had by me, raised the sum that 
was requisite for that purpose. I find by my calculations, 
that it is but an hundred and fifty thousand to one 
against my being worth a thousand pounds per annum 
for thirty-two years ; and if any plumb in the city will 
lay me an hundred and fifty thousand pounds to twenty 
shillings, which is an even bet, that I am not this for 
tunate man, I will take the wager, and shall look upon 
him as a man of singular courage and fair dealing ; having 
given orders to Mr. Morphew to subscribe such a policy 

30 in my behalf, if any person accepts of the offer. I must 
confess, I have had such private intimations from the 
twinkling of a certain star in some of my astronomical 
observations, that I should be unwilling to take fifty 
pounds a year for my chance, unless it were to oblige a 
particular friend. My chief business at present is to my mind for this change of fortune : for as Seneca, 


who was a greater moralist, and a much richer man than 
I shall be with this addition to my present income, says 
" Munera ista Fortunes putatis ? Insidice sunt" " What we 
look upon as gifts and presents of Fortune, are traps and 
snares which she] lays for the unwary." I am arming 
myself against her favours with all my philosophy ; and 
that I may not lose myself in such a redundance of 
unnecessary and superfluous wealth, I have determined 
to settle an annual pension out of it upon a family of 
Palatines, and by that means give these unhappy strangers 10 
a taste of British property. At the same time, as I have 
an excellent servant-maid, whose diligence in attending 
me has increased in proportion to my infirmities, I shall 
settle upon her the revenue arising out of the ten pounds, 
and amounting to fourteen shillings per annum ; with 
which she may retire into Wales, where she was born a 
gentlewoman, and pass the remaining part of her days in 
a condition suitable to her birth and quality. It was 
impossible for me to make an inspection into my own 
fortune on this occasion, without seeing, at the same time, 20 
the fate of others who are embarked in the same adven 
ture. And indeed it was a great pleasure to me to observe, 
that the war, which generally impoverishes those who 
furnish out the expense of it, will by this means give 
estates to some, without making others the poorer for it. 
I have lately seen several in liveries, who will give as 
good of their own very suddenly ; and took a particular 
satisfaction in the sight of a young country wench, whom 
I this morning passed by as she was whirling her mop 
with her petticoats tucked up very agreeably, who, if 30 
there is any truth in my art, is within ten months of being 
the handsomest great fortune in town. I must confess, 
I was so struck with the foresight of what she is to be, 
that I treated her accordingly, and said to her " Pray, 
young lady, permit me to pass by." I would for this 
reason advise all masters and mistresses to carry it with 


great moderation and condescension towards their servants 
until next Michaelmas, lest the superiority at that time 
should be inverted. I must likewise admonish all my 
brethren and fellow-adventurers to fill their minds with 
proper arguments for their support and consolation in 
case of ill-success. It so happens in this particular, that 
though the gainers will have no reason to rejoice, the losers 
will have no reason to complain. I remember, the day 
after the thousand pound prize was drawn in the penny 

10 lottery, I went to visit a splenetic acquaintance of mine, 
who was under much dejection, and seemed to me to have 
suffered some great disappointment. Upon enquiry, I 
found he had put two-pence for himself and his son into 
the lottery, and that neither of them had drawn the 
thousand pound. Hereupon this unlucky person took 
occasion to enumerate the misfortunes of his life, and con 
cluded with telling me that he never was successful in 
any of his undertakings. I was forced to comfort him with 
the common reflection upon such occasions, that men of 

20 the greatest merit are not always men of the greatest 
success, and that persons of his character must not expect to 
be as happy as fools. I shall proceed in the like manner with 
my rivals and competitors for the thousand pounds a year, 
which we are now in pursuit of ; and that I may give 
general content to the whole body of candidates, I shall 
allow all that draw prizes to be fortunate, and all that miss 
them to be wise. 

I must not here omit to acknowledge that I have 
received several letters upon this subject, but find one 

30 common error running through them all, which is, that 
the writers of them believe their fate in these cases 
depends upon the astrologer, and not upon the stars ; as 
in the following letter from one who, I fear, flatters him 
self with hopes of success, which are altogether groundless, 
since he does not seem to me so great a fool as he takes 
himself to be. 


" SIR, 

" Coming to town, and finding my friend Mr. 
Partridge dead and buried, and you the only conjurer in 
repute, I am under a necessity of applying myself to 
you for a favour, which, nevertheless, I confess it would 
better become a friend to ask, than one who is, as I 
am, altogether a stranger to you ; but poverty, you know, 
is impudent ; and as that gives me the occasion, so that 
alone could give me the confidence to be thus unfortunate. 

" I am, Sir, very poor, and very desirous to be other- 10 
wise : I have got ten pounds, which I design to venture 
in the lottery now on foot. What I desire of you is, 
that by your art, you will choose such a ticket for me as 
shall arise a benefit sufficient to maintain me. I must 
beg leave to inform you, that I am good for nothing, and 
must therefore insist upon a larger lot than would satisfy 
those who are capable, by their own abilities, of adding 
something to what you should assign them ; whereas I 
must expect an absolute independent maintenance, because, 
as I said, I can do nothing. It is possible, after this free 20 
confession of mine, you may think I do not deserve to be 
rich ; but I hope you will likewise observe, I can ill afford 
to be poor. My own opinion is, that I am well qualified 
for an estate, and have a good title to luck in a lottery ; 
but I resign myself wholly to your mercy, not without 
hopes that you will consider the less I deserve, the greater 
the generosity in you. If you reject me, I have agreed 
with an acquaintance of mine to bury me for ten pounds. 
I once more recommend myself to your favour, and bid you 
adieu ! " 30 

I cannot forbear publishing another letter which I have 
received, because it redounds to my own credit, as well as 
to that of a very honest footman. 


''Jan. 23, 1710. 


"I am bound in justice to acquaint you that I put 
an advertisement into your last paper about a watch that 
was lost, and was brought to me on the very day your 
paper came out, by a footman ; who told me, that he 
would not have brought it if he had not read your 
discourse on that day against avarice ; but that since he 
had read it, he scorned to take a reward for doing what 
10 in justice he ought to do. 

"I am, Sir, your most humble Servant, 



No. 25.] June 6, 1709. 

Quicquid agunt homines 

.... nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86, 

Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream, 
Our motley paper seizes for its theme. 

White's Chocolate- House, June 6. 

A LETTER from a young lady, written in the most passionate 
terms, wherein she laments the misfortune of a gentleman, 
20 her lover, who was lately wounded in a duel, has turned 
my thoughts to that subject, and inclined me to examine 
into the causes which precipitate men into so fatal a folly. 
And as it has been proposed to treat of subjects of gallantry 
in the article from hence, and no one point in nature is more 
proper to be considered by the company who frequent this 
place than that of duels, it is worth our consideration to 
examine into this chimerical groundless humour, and to lay 
every other thought aside, until we have stripped it of all 
its false pretences to credit and reputation amongst men. 


But I must confess, when I consider what I am going 
about, and run over in my imagination all the endless crowd 
of men of honour who will be offended at such a discourse ; 
I am undertaking, methinks, a work worthy an invulnerable 
hero in romance, rather than a private gentleman with a 
single rapier ; but as 1 am pretty well acquainted by great 
opportunities with the nature of man, and know of a truth 
that all men fight against their will, the danger vanishes, 
and resolution rises upon this subject. For this reason, I 
shall talk very freely on a custom which all men wish 10 
exploded, though no man has courage enough to resist it. 

But there is one unintelligible word, which I fear will 
extremely perplex my dissertation, and I confess to you I 
find very hard to explain, which is the term " satisfaction." 
An honest country gentleman had the misfortune to fall 
into company with two or three modern men of honour, 
where he happened to be very ill treated; and one of the 
company, being conscious of his offence, sends a note to him 
in the morning, and tells him, he was ready to give him 
satisfaction. "This is fine doing," says the plain fellow ; " last 20 
night he sent me away cursedly out of humour, and this 
morning he fancies it would be a satisfaction to be run 
through the body ! " 

As the matter at present stands, it is not to do handsome 
actions denominates a man of honour ; it is enough if he 
dares to defend ill ones. Thus you often see a common 
sharper in competition with a gentleman of the first rank ; 
though all mankind is convinced, that a fighting gamester is 
only a pickpocket with the courage of a highwayman. One 
cannot with any patience reflect on the unaccountable 30 
jumble of persons and things in this town and nation, which 
occasions very frequently, that a brave man falls by a hand 
below that of a common hangman, and yet his executioner 
escapes the clutches of the hangman for doing it. I shall 
therefore hereafter consider, how the bravest men in other 
ages and nations have behaved themselves upon such inci- 


dents as we decide by combat ; and show, from their practice, 
that this resentment neither has its foundation from true 
reason or solid fame ; but is an imposture, made of cowardice, 
falsehood, and want of understanding. For this work, a 
good history of quarrels would be very edifying to the 
public, and I apply myself to the town for particulars and 
circumstances within their knowledge, which may serve to 
embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. Most of the 
quarrels I have ever known, have proceeded from some 

10 valiant coxcomb's persisting in the wrong, to defend some 
prevailing folly, and preserve himself from the ingenuous 
ness of owning a mistake. 

By this means it is called " giving a man satisfaction," to 
urge your offence against him with your sword. ... If the 
contradiction in the very terms of one of our challenges were 
as well explained and turned into downright English, would 
it not run after this manner? 
" SIR, 

" Your extraordinary behaviour last night, and the 

20 liberty you were pleased to take with me, makes me this 
morning give you this, to tell you, because you are an ill- 
bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde-park an hour hence ; 
and because you want both breeding and humanity, I desire 
you would come with a pistol in your hand, on horseback, 
and endeavour to shoot me through the head, to teach you 
more manners. If you fail of doing me this pleasure, I shall 
say you are a rascal, on every post in town : and so, sir, 
if you will not injure me more, I shall never forgive what 
you have done already. Pray, sir, do not fail of getting 

30 every thing ready ; and you will infinitely oblige, sir, your 
most obedient humble servant, etc." 



No. 266.] December 21, 1710. 

Rideat, et pulset lasciva decentius setas. Hor. Ep. ii. 2. ult. 

Let youth more decent in their follies scoff 

The nauseous scene, and hiss thee reeling off. Francis. 

From my own Apartment, December 20. 

IT would be a good appendix to "The Art of Living and 
Dying," if any one would write " The Art of Growing Old," 
and teach men to resign their pretensions to the pleasures 
and gallantries of youth, in proportion to the alteration they 
find in themselves by the approach of age and infirmities. 
The infirmities of this stage of life would be much fewer, if 10 
we did not affect those which attend the more vigorous and 
active part of our days ; but instead of studying to be wiser, 
or being contented with our present follies, the ambition of 
many of us is also to be the same sort of fools we formerly 
have been. I have often argued, as I am a professed lover of 
women, that our sex grows old with a much worse grace 
than the other does ; and have ever been of opinion, that 
there are more well -pleased old women, than old men. I 
thought it a good reason for this, that the ambition of the 
fair sex being confined to advantageous marriages, or shin- 20 
ing in the eyes of men, their parts were over sooner, and 
consequently the errors in the performances of them. The 
conversation of this evening has not convinced me of the 
contrary ; for one or two fop-women shall not make a balance 
for the crowds of coxcombs among ourselves, diversified 
according to the different pursuits of pleasure and business. 

Returning home this evening a little before my usual 
hour, I scarce had seated myself in my easy chair, stirred 
the fire, and stroked my cat, but I heard somebody come 
rumbling up stairs. I saw my door opened, and a human 30 
figure advancing towards me, so fantastically put together, 


that it was some minutes before I discovered it to be my old 
and intimate friend, Sam Trusty. Immediately I rose up, 
and placed him in my own seat ; a compliment I pay to few. 
The first thing he uttered was, "Isaac, fetch me a cup of 
your cherry-brandy before you offer to ask any question." 
He drank a lusty draught, sat silent for some time, and at 
last broke out : " I am come," quoth he, " to insult thee for 
an old fantastic dotard, as thou art, in ever defending the 
women. I have this evening visited two widows, who are 

10 now in that state I have often heard you call an ' after-life ' ; 
I suppose you mean by it, an existence which grows out 
of past entertainments, and is an untimely delight in the 
satisfactions which they once set their hearts upon too much 
to be ever able to relinquish. Have but patience," continued 
he, "until I give you a succinct account of my ladies, and of 
this night's adventure. They are much of an age, but very 
different in their characters. The one of them, with all the 
advances which years have made upon her, goes on in a 
certain romantic road of love and friendship which she fell 

20 into in her teens ; the other has transferred the amorous 
passions of her first years to the love of cronies, pets, and 
favourites, with which she is always surrounded ; but the 
genius of each of them will best appear by the account of 
what happened to me at their houses. About five this after 
noon, being tired with study, the weather inviting, and time 
lying a little upon my hands, I resolved, at the instigation 
of my evil genius, to visit them ; their husbands having 
been our contemporaries. This I thought I could do without 
much trouble ; for both live in the very next street. I went 

30 first to my lady Camomile ; and the butler, who had lived long 
in the family, and seen me often in his master's time, ushered 
me very civilly into the parlour, and told me though my lady 
had given strict orders to be denied, he was sure I might be 
admitted, and bid the black boy acquaint his lady that I was 
come to wait upon her. In the window lay two letters, one 
broke open, the other fresh sealed with a wafer : the first 


directed to the divine Cosmelia, the second to the charming 
Lucinda ; but both, by the indented characters, appeared to 
have been writ by very unsteady hands. Such uncommon 
addresses increased my curiosity, and put me upon asking 
my old friend the butler, if he knew who those persons 
were ? " Very well," says he, " that is from Mrs. Furbish to 
my lady, an old school-fellow and great crony of her lady 
ship's ; and this the answer." I enquired in what county 
she lived. ' Oh dear ! " says he, " but just by in the neigh 
bourhood. Why, she was here all this morning, and that 10 
letter came and was answered within these two hours. 
They have taken an odd fancy, you must know, to call one 
another hard names ; but, for all that, they love one another 
hugely." By this time the boy returned with his lady's 
humble service to me, desiring I would excuse her ; for she 
could not possibly see me, nor any body else, for it was 

" Methinks," says I, " such innocent folly as two old 
women's courtship to each other, should rather make you 
merry than put you out of humour." " Peace, good Isaac," 20 
says he, " no interruption, I beseech you. I got soon to Mrs. 
Feeble's ; she that was formerly Betty Frisk ; you must 
needs remember her ; Tom Feeble of Brazen Nose fell in 
love with her for her fine dancing. Well, Mrs. Ursula, 
without further ceremony, carries me directly up to her 
mistress's chamber, where I found her environed by four of 
the most mischievous animals that can ever infest a family : 
an old shock dog with one eye, a monkey chained to one side 
of the chimney, a great grey squirrel to the other, and a 
parrot waddling in the middle of the room. However, for a 30 
while, all was in a profound tranquillity. Upon the mantel- 
tree, for I am a pretty curious observer, stood a pot of lam- 
betive electuary, with a stick of liquorice, and near it a phial 
of rose-water, and powder of tutty. Upon the table lay a 
pipe filled with betony and colt's- foot, a roll of wax-candle, 
a silver spitting-pot, and a Seville orange. The lady was 


placed in a large wicker-chair, and her feet wrapped up in 
flannel, supported by cushions ; and in this attitude, would 
you believe it, Isaac, she was reading a romance with 
spectacles on. The first compliments over, as she was in 
dustriously endeavouring to enter upon conversation, a 
violent fit of coughing seized her. This awaked Shock, 
and in a trice the whole room was in an uproar ; for the dog 
barked, the squirrel squealed, the monkey chattered, the 
parrot screamed, and Ursula, to appease them, was more 

10 clamorous than all the rest. You, Isaac, who know how any 
harsh noise affects my head, may guess what I suffered from 
the hideous din of these discordant sounds. At length all 
was appeased, and quiet restored : a chair was drawn for me, 
where I was no sooner seated, but the parrot fixed his horny 
beak, as sharp as a pair of shears, in one of my heels, just 
above the shoe. I sprung from the place with an unusual 
agility, and so, being within the monkey's reach, he snatches 
off my new bob-wig, and throws it upon two apples that 
were roasting by a sullen sea-coal fire. I was nimble enough 

20 to save it from any further damage than singeing the fore- 
top. I put it on ; and composing myself as well as I could, 
I drew my chair towards the other side of the chimney. 
The good lady, as soon as she had recovered breath, 
employed it in making a thousand apologies, and, with great 
eloquence, and a numerous train of words, lamented my 
misfortune. In the middle of her harangue, I felt some 
thing scratching near my knee, and feeling what it should 
be, found the squirrel had got into my coat pocket. As I 
endeavoured to remove him from his burrow, he made his 

30 teeth meet through the fleshy part of my fore finger. This 
gave me an inexpressible pain. The Hungary water was 
immediately brought to bathe it, and goldbeaters' skin 
applied to stop the blood. The lady renewed her excuses ; 
but being now out of all patience, I abruptly took my leave, 
and hobbling down stairs with heedless haste, I set my foot 
full in a pail of water, and down we came to the bottom 


together." Here my friend concluded his narrative, and, 
with a composed countenance, I began to make him com 
pliments of condolence ; but he started from his chair, and 
said, " Isaac, you may spare your speeches, I expect no reply. 
When I told you this, I knew you would laugh at me ; but 
the next woman that makes me ridiculous shall be a young 


No. 142.] March 7, 1709. 

Shire-Lane, March 6. 

ALL persons who employ themselves in public, are still 
interrupted in the course of their affairs ; and, it seems, the 10 
admired cavalier Nicolim himself is commanded by the 
ladies, who at present employ their time with great assiduity 
in the care of the nation, to put off his day until he shall 
receive their commands, and notice that they are at leisure 
for diversions. In the mean time it is not to be expressed, 
how many cold chickens the fair-ones have eaten since this 
day sevennight for the good of their country. This great 
occasion has given birth to many discoveries of high moment 
for the conduct of life. There is a toast of my acquaintance 
who told me, " she had now found out, that it was day before 20 
nine in the morning " ; and I am very confident, if the affair 
hold many days longer, the ancient hours of eating will be 
revived among us, many having by it been made acquainted 
with the luxury of hunger and thirst. 

There appears, methinks, something very venerable in all 
assemblies : and I must confess, I envied all who had youth 
and health enough to make their appearance there, that they 
had the happiness of being a whole day in the best company 
in the world. During the adjournments of that awful court, 
a neighbour of mine was telling me, that it gave him a 30 



notion of the ancient grandeur of the English hospitality, to 
see Westminster-Hall a dining-room. There is a cheerful 
ness in such repasts, which is very delightful to tempers 
which are so happy as to be clear of spleen and vapour ; for, 
to the jovial, to see others pleased is the greatest of all 

But, since age and infirmities forbid my appearance at 
such public places, the next happiness is to make the best 
use of privacy, and acquit myself of the demands of my 
10 correspondents. The following letter is what has given me 
no small inquietude, it being an accusation of partiality, and 
disregard to merit, in the person of a virtuoso, who is the 
most eloquent of all men upon small occasions, and is the 
more to be admired for his prodigious fertility of invention, 
which never appears but upon subjects which others would 
have thought barren. But in consideration of his uncommon 
talents, I am contented to let him be the hero of my next 
two days, by inserting his friend's recommendation of him at 

20 "Nando's, Feb. 28, 1709. 


" I am just come out of the country, and upon perusing 
your late lucubrations, I find Charles Lillie to be the darling 
of your affections ; that you have given him a place, and 
taken no small pains to establish him in the world ; and, at 
the same time, have passed by his name-sake, at this end of 
the town, as if he was a citizen defunct, and one of no use in 
a commonwealth. I must own, his circumstances are so good, 
and so well known, that he does not stand in need of having 

30 his fame published to the world ; but, being of an ambitious 
spirit, and an aspiring soul, he would be rather proud of the 
honour, than desirous of the profit, which might result from 
your recommendation. He is a person of a particular genius, 
the first that brought toys in fashion, and baubles to 
perfection. He is admirably well versed in screws, springs, 
and hinges, and deeply read in knives, combs, or scissors, 


buttons, or buckles. He is a perfect master of words, which, 
uttered with a smooth voluble tongue, flow into a most 
persuasive eloquence ; insomuch, that I have known a 
gentleman of distinction find several ingenious faults with a 
toy of his, and show his utmost dislike to it, as being either 
useless or ill-contrived ; but when the orator, behind the 
counter, had harangued upon it for an hour and a half, 
displayed its hidden beauties, and revealed its secret per 
fections, he has wondered how he had been able to spend so 
great a part of his life without so important a utensil. I 10 
will not pretend to furnish out an inventory of all the 
valuable commodities that are to be found at his shop. 

" I shall content myself with giving an account of what I 
think most curious. Imprimis, his -pocket-books are very 
neat and well contrived, not for keeping bank-bills, or 
goldsmiths notes, I confess ; but they are admirable for 
registering the lodgings of Madonas, and for preserving 
letters from ladies of quality. His whips and spurs are so 
nice, that they will make one that buys them ride a fox 
hunting, though before he hated noise and early rising, and 20 
was afraid of breaking his neck. His seals are curiously 
fancied, and exquisitely well cut, and of great use to 
encourage young gentlemen to write a good hand. Ned 
Puzzle-post has been ill used by his writing master, and 
writ a sort of Chinese, or downright Scrawlian ; however, 
upon his buying a seal of my friend, he is so much improved 
by continual writing, that it is believed in a short time one 
may be able to read his letters, and find out his meaning, 
without guessing. His pistols and fusees are so very good, 
that they are fit to be laid up among the finest china. Then 30 
his tweezer-cases are incomparable : you shall have one not 
much bigger than your finger, with seventeen several 
instruments in it, all necessary every hour of the day, during 
the whole course of a man's life. But if this virtuoso excels 
in one thing more than another, it is in canes. He has spent 
his most select hours in the .knowledge of them ; and is 


arrived at that perfection, that he is able to hold forth upon 
canes longer than upon any one subject in the world. In 
deed, his canes are so finely clouded, and so well made up, 
either with gold or amber heads, that I am of the opinion 
it is impossible for a gentleman to walk, talk, sit, or stand, 
as he should do, without one of them. He knows the value 
of a cane, by knowing the value of the buyer's estate. Sir 
Timothy Shallow has two thousand pounds per annum, and 
Tom Empty, one. They both at several times bought a cane 

10 of Charles : sir Timothy's cost ten guineas, and Tom Empty's 
five. Upon comparing them, they were perfectly alike. Sir 
Timothy, surprised there should be no difference in the 
canes, and so much in the price, comes to Charles : ' Charles,' 
says he, 'you have sold me a cane here for ten pieces, and 
the very same to Tom Empty for five.' * Sir Timothy,' says 
Charles, ' I am concerned that you, whom I took to under 
stand canes better than any baronet in town, should be so 
overseen ! ' ' Why, sir Timothy, your's is a true Jambee, 
and esquire Empty's only a plain Dragon.' 

20 "This virtuoso has a parcel of Jambees now growing in 
the East Indies, where he keeps a man on purpose to look 
after them, which will be the finest that ever landed in 
Great Britain, and will be fit to cut about two years hence. 
Any gentleman may subscribe for as many as he pleases. 
Subscriptions will be taken in at his shop at ten guineas 
each joint. They that subscribe for six shall have a Dragon 
gratis. This is all I have to say at present concerning 
Charles's curiosities ; and hope it may be sufficient to 
prevail with you to take him into your consideration, which 

30 if you comply with, you will oblige 

"Your humble servant." 

N.B. "Whereas there came out, last term, several gold 
snuff-boxes, and others : this is, to give notice, that Charles 
will put out a new edition on Saturday next, which will be 
the only one in fashion until after Easter. The gentleman 
that gave fifty pounds for the box set with diamonds, may 


show it until Sunday night, provided he goes to church ; but 
not after that time, there being one to be published on 
Monday, which will cost fourscore guineas. 


No. 264.] December 16, 1710. 

Favete linguis. Hor. Od. iii. 2. 2. 
Favour your tongues. 

From my own Apartment, December 15. 

BOCCALINI, in his " Parnassus," indicts a laconic writer for 
speaking that in three words which he might have said in 
two, and sentences him for his punishment to read over all 
the works of Guicciardini. This Guicciardini is so very 10 
prolix and circumstantial in his writings, that I remember 
our countryman, doctor Donne, speaking of that majestic 
and concise manner in which Moses has described the 
creation of the world, adds, " that if such an author as 
Guicciardini were to have written on such a subject, the 
world itself would not have been able to have contained the 
books that gave the history of its creation." 

I look upon a tedious talker, or what is generally known 
by the name of a story-teller, to be much more insufferable 
than even a prolix writer. An author may be tossed out of 20 
your hand, and thrown aside when he grows dull and tire 
some ; but such liberties are so far from being allowed 
towards your orators in common conversation, that I have 
known a challenge sent a person for going out of the room 
abruptly, and leaving a man of honour in the midst of a dis 
sertation. This evil is at present so very common and 
epidemical, that there is scarce a coffee-house in town that 
has not some speakers belonging to it, who utter their 
political essays, and draw parallels out of Baker's "Chronicle," 


to almost every part of her majesty's reign. It was said of 
two ancient authors, who had very different beauties in their 
style, " that if you took a word from one of them, you only 
spoiled his eloquence ; but if -you took a word from the other, 
you spoiled his sense." I have often applied the first part of 
this criticism to several of these coffee-house speakers whom 
I have at present in my thoughts, though the character that 
is given to the last of those authors, is what I would recom 
mend to the imitation of my loving countrymen. But it is 

10 not only public places of resort, but private clubs and con 
versations over a bottle, that are infested with this loquacious 
kind of animal, especially with that species which I compre 
hend under the name of a story-teller. I would earnestly 
desire these gentlemen to consider, that no. point of wit or 
mirth at the end of a story can atone for the half hour that 
has been lost before they come at it. I would likewise lay 
it home to their serious consideration, whether they think 
that every man in the company has not a right to speak as 
well as themselves ? and whether they do not think they 

20 are invading another man's property, when they engross the 
time which should be divided equally among the company to 
their own private use ? 

What makes this evil the much greater in conversation is, 
that these humdrum companions seldom endeavour to wind 
up their narrations into a point of mirth or instruction, 
which might make some amends for the tediousness of them ; 
but think they have a right to tell any thing that has 
happened within their memory. They look upon matter 
of fact to be a sufficient foundation for a story, and give 

30 us a long account of things, not because they are entertaining 
or surprising, but because they are true. 

My ingenious kinsman, Mr. Humphry Wagstaff, used to 
say, "the life of man is too short for a story-teller." 

Methusalem might be half an hour in telling what o'clock 
it was : but as for us postdiluvians, we ought to do every 
thing . in haste ; and in our speeches, as well as actions, 


remember that our time is short. A man that talks for a 
quarter of an hour together in company, if I meet him 
frequently, takes up a great parti of my span. A quarter of 
an hour may be reckoned the eight-and-fortieth part of a 
day, a day the three hundred and sixtieth part of a year, 
and a year the threescore and tenth part of life. By this 
moral arithmetic, supposing a man to be in' the talking 
world one third part of the day, whoever gives another a 
quarter of an hour's hearing, makes him a sacrifice of more 
than the four hundred thousandth part of his conversable 10 

I would establish but one great general rule to be observed 
in all conversation, which is this, " that men should not talk 
to please .themselves, but those that hear them." This would 
make them consider, whether what they speak be worth 
hearing ; whether there be either wit or sense in what they 
are about to say ; and, whether it be adapted to the time 
when, the place where, and the person to whom, it is spoken. 

For the utter extirpation of these orators and story 
tellers, which I look upon as very great pests of society, 20 
I have invented a watch which divides the minute into 
twelve parts, after the same manner that the ordinary 
watches are divided into hours : and will endeavour to get 
a patent, which shall oblige every club or company to pro 
vide themselves with one of these watches, that shall lie 
upon the table, as an hour-glass is often placed near the 
pulpit, to measure out the length of a. discourse. 

I shall be willing to allow a man one round of my watch, 
that is, a whole minute, to speak in ; but if he exceeds that 
time, it shall be lawful for any of the company to look upon 30 
the watch, or to call him down to order. 

Provided, however, that if any one can make it appear 
he is turned of threescore, he may take two, or, if he pleases, 
three rounds of the watch without giving offence. Provided, 
also, that this rule be not construed to extend to the fair 
sex, who shall still be at liberty to talk by the ordinary 


watch that is now in use. I would likewise earnestly 
recommend this little automaton, which may be easily 
carried in the pocket without any incumbrance, to all such 
as are troubled with this infirmity of speech, that upon 
pulling out their watches, they may have frequent occasion 
to consider what they are doing, and by that means cut the 
thread of the story short, and hurry to a conclusion. I 
shall only add, that this watch, with a paper of directions 
how to use it, is sold at Charles Lillie's. 

10 I am afraid a Tatler will be thought a very improper 
paper to censure this humour of being talkative ; but I 
would have my readers know that there is a great difference 
between tattle and loquacity, as I shall show at large in a 
following lucubration ; it being my design to throw away a 
candle upon that subject, in order to explain the whole art 
of tattling in all its branches and subdivisions. 

No. 167.] May 4, 1710. 

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem, 
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus. 

Hor. Ars Poet. 180. 
. . . What we hear 
20 "With weaker passion will affect the heart, 

Than when the faithful eye. beholds the part, Francis. 

From my own Apartment^ May 2. 

HAVING received notice, that the famous actor, Mr. Better- 
ton was to be interred this evening in the cloisters near 
Westminster-abbey, I was resolved to walk thither ; and 
see the last office done to a man whom I had always very 
much admired, and from whose action I had received more 
strong impressions of what is great and noble in human 
nature, than from the arguments of the most solid philo- 


sophers, or the descriptions of the most charming poets I 
had ever read. As the rude and untaught multitude are 
no way wrought upon more effectually, than by seeing 
public punishments and executions ; so men of letters and 
education feel their humanity most forcibly exercised, when 
they attend the obsequies of men who had arrived at any 
perfection in liberal accomplishments. Theatrical action is 
to be esteemed as such, except it be objected that we cannot 
call that an art which cannot be attained by art. Voice, 
stature, motion, and other gifts, must be very bountifully 10 
bestowed by nature, or labour and industry will but push 
the unhappy endeavourer in that way the further off his 

Such an actor as Mr. Betterton ought to be recorded 
with the same respect as Roscius among the Romans. The 
greatest orator has thought fit to quote his judgment, and 
celebrate his life. Roscius was the example .to all that 
would form themselves into proper and winning behaviour. 
His action was so well adapted to the sentiments he ex 
pressed, that the youth of Rome thought they wanted only 20 
to be virtuous, to be as graceful in their appearance as 
Roscius. The imagination took a lovely impression of what 
was great and good ; and they, who never thought of 
setting up for the art of imitation, became themselves 
inimitable characters. 

There is no human invention so aptly calculated for the 
forming a free-born people as that of a theatre. Tully 
reports, that the celebrated player of whom I am speaking, 
used frequently to say, " The perfection of an actor is only 
to become what he is doing." Young men, who are too 30 
unattentive to receive lectures, are irresistibly taken with 
performances. Hence it is, that I extremely lament the 
little relish the gentry of this nation have, at present, for 
the just and noble representations in some of our tragedies. 
The operas, which are of late introduced, can leave no 
trace behind them that can be of service beyond the present 


moment. To sing and to dance, are accomplishments very 
few have any thoughts of practising ; but to speak justly, 
and move gracefully, is what every man thinks he does 
perform, or wishes he did. 

I have hardly a notion, that any performer of antiquity 
could surpass the action of Mr. Betterton in any -of the 
occasions in which he has appeared on our stage. The 
wonderful agony which he appeared in, when he examined 
the circumstance of the handkerchief in Othello ; the mix- 

10 ture of love that intruded upon his mind, upon the innocent 
answers Desdemona makes, betrayed in his gesture such a 
variety and vicissitude of passions, as would admonish a 
man. to be afraid of his own heart ; and perfectly convince 
him, that it is to" stab it, to admit that worst of daggers, 
jealousy. Whoever reads in his closet this admirable scene, 
will find that he cannot, except he has as warm an imagina 
tion as Shakespeare himself, find any but dry, incoherent, 
and broken sentences : 'but a reader that has seen Betterton 
act it, observes, there could not be a word added ; that 

20 longer speeches had been . unnatural, nay, impossible, in 
Othello's circumstances. The charming passage in the same 
tragedy, where he tells the manner of winning the affection 
. of his mistress, was urged with so moving and graceful an 
energy, that, while I walked in the cloisters, I thought of 
him with the same concern as if I waited for the remains 
of a person who had in real life done all that I had seen 
him represent. The gloom of the place, and faint lights 
before the ceremony appeared, contributed to the melancholy 
disposition I was. in; and I began to be extremely afflicted, 

30 that Brutus and Cassius had any difference ; that Hotspur's 
gallantry was so unfortunate ; and that the mirth and good 
humour of Falstaff could not exempt him from the grave. 
Nay, this occasion, in me who look upon the distinctions 
amongst men to be merely scenical, raised reflections upon 
the emptiness of all human perfection and greatness in 
general ; and I could not but regret, that the sacred heads 


which lie buried in the neighbourhood of this little portion 
of earth, in which my poor old friend is deposited, are 
returned to dust as well as he, and that there is no differ 
ence in the grave between the imaginary and the real 
monarch. This made me say of human life itself with 

To-morrow, to-morrow, and to-morrow, 

Creeps in a stealing pace from day to day 

To the last moment of recorded time ! 

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools 10 

To their eternal night ! Out, out, short candle, 

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player 

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, 

And then is heard no more. 

The mention I have here made of Mr. Betterton, for 
whom I had, as long as I have known any thing, a very 
great esteem and gratitude for the pleasure he gave me, 
can do him no good ; but it may possibly be of service to 
the unhappy woman he has left behind him, to have it 
known, that this great tragedian was never in a scene half 20 
so moving, as the circumstances of his affairs created at 
his departure. His wife, after a cohabitation of forty years 
in the strictest amity, has long pined away with a sense 
of his decay, as well in his person as his little fortune ; 
and, in proportion to that, she has herself decayed both in 
her health and reason. Her husband's death, added to her 
age and infirmities, would certainly have determined her life, 
but that the greatness of her distress has been her relief, 
by a present deprivation of her senses. This absence of 
reason is her best defence against age, sorrow, poverty, 30 
and sickness. I dwell upon' this account so distinctly, in 
obedience to a certain great spirit who hides her name, 
and has by letter applied to me to recommend to her some 
object of compassion, from whom she may be concealed. 

This, I think, is a proper occasion for exerting such 
heroic generosity ; and as there is an ingenuous shame in 


those who have known better fortune, to be reduced to 
receive obligations, as well as a becoming pain in the truly 
generous to receive thanks ; in this case both those delicacies 
are preserved ; for the person obliged is as incapable of 
knowing her benefactress, as her benefactress is unwilling 
to be known by her. 

No. 178.] May 30, 1710. 

Shire-Lane, May 29. 

WHEN we look into the delightful history of the most 
ingenious Don Quixote of the Mancha, and consider the 

10 exercises and manner of life of that renowned gentleman, we 
cannot but admire the exquisite genius and discerning spirit 
of Michael Cervantes ; who has not only painted his ad 
venturer with great mastery in the conspicuous parts of his 
story, which relate to love and honour ; but also intimated 
in his ordinary life, in his economy and furniture, the in 
fallible symptoms he gave of his growing frenzy, before he 
declared himself a Knight Errant. His hall was furnished 
with old lances, halberds, and morions ; his food, lentils ; 
his dress, amorous. He slept moderately, rose early, and 

20 spent his time in hunting. When by watchfulness and 
exercise he was thus qualified for the hardships of his 
intended peregrinations, he had nothing more to do but to 
fall hard to study ; and before he should apply himself to 
the practical part, get into the methods of making love and 
war by reading books of knighthood. As for raising tender 
passions in him, Cervantes reports that he was wonderfully 
delighted with a smooth intricate sentence ; and when they 
listened at his study-door, they could frequently hear him 
read aloud, " The reason of the unreasonableness, which 

30 against my reason is wrought, doth so weaken my reason, as 


with all reason I do justly complain of your beauty." Again, 
he would pause until he came to another charming sentence, 
and, with the most pleasing accent imaginable, be loud at a 
new paragraph : " The high heavens, which with your 
divinity, do fortify you divinely with the stars, make you 
deserveress of the deserts that your greatness deserves." 
With these and other such passages, says my author, the 
poor gentleman grew distracted, and was breaking his brains 
day and night to understand and unravel their sense. 

As much as the case of this distempered knight is re- 10 
ceived by all the readers of his history as the most incurable 
and ridiculous of all frenzies ; it is very certain, we have 
crowds among us far gone in as visible a madness as his, 
though they are not observed to be in that condition. As 
great and useful discoveries are sometimes made by acci 
dental and small beginnings, I came to the knowledge of the 
most epidemic ill of this sort, by falling into a coffee-house, 
where I saw my friend the upholsterer, whose crack towards 
politics I have heretofore mentioned. This touch in the 
brain of the British subject, is as certainly owing to the 20 
reading newspapers, as that of the Spanish worthy above- 
mentioned to the reading works of chivalry. My contem 
poraries, the novelists, have, for the better spinning out 
paragraphs, and working down to the end of their columns, 
a most happy art in saying and unsaying, giving hints of 
intelligence, and interpretations of indifferent actions, to the 
great disturbance of the brains of ordinary readers. This way 
of going on in the words, and making no progress in the sense, 
is more particularly the excellency of my most ingenious and 
renowned fellow-labourer, the Post-man : and it is to this 30 
talent in him that I impute the loss of my upholsterer's 
intellects. That unfortunate tradesman has, for years past, 
been the chief orator in ragged assemblies, and the reader in 
alley coffee-houses. He was yesterday surrounded by an 
audience of that sort, among whom I sat unobserved, through 
the favour of a cloud of tobacco, and saw him with the 


Post-man in his hand, and all the other papers safe under his 
elbow. He was intermixing remarks, and reading the Paris 
article of May the thirtieth, which says, "That it is given 
out that an express arrived this day with advice, that the 
armies were so near in the plain of Lens, that they cannon 
aded each other." "Ay, ay, here we shall have sport." 
" And that it was highly probable the next express would 
bring us an account of an engagement.'' " They are welcome 
as soon as they please." " Though some others say that the 

10 same will be put off until the second or third of June, because 
the Marshall Viilars expects some further reinforcements 
from Germany, and other parts, before that time." " What 
does he put it off for ? Does he think our horse is not 
marching up at the same time ? But let us see what he says 
further." "They hope that Monsieur Albergotti, being 
encouraged by the presence of so great an army, will make 
an extraordinary defence." " Why then, I find Albergotti 
is one of those that love to have a great many on their side. 
.Nay, I say that for this paper, he makes the most natural 

20 inferences of any of them all." " The elector of Bavaria, being 
uneasy to be without any command, has desired leave to 
come to court, to communicate a. certain project to his 

majesty. Whatever it be, it is said, that prince is suddenly 

expected ; and then we shall have a more certain account of 
his project, if this report has any foundation." "Nay, this 
paper never imposes upon us ; he goes upon sure grounds ; 
for he will not be positive the elector has a project, or that 
he will come, or if he does come at all ; for he doubts, you 
see, whether the report has any foundation." 

30 What makes this the more lamentable is, that this way of 
writing falls in with the imaginations of the cooler and duller 
part of her majesty's subjects. The being kept up with one 
line contradicting another; and the whole, after many 
sentences of conjecture, vanishing in a doubt whether there 
is any thing at all in what the person has been reading, puts 
an ordinary head into a vertigo, which his natural dulness 


would have secured him from. Next to the labours of the 
Post-man, the upholsterer took from under his elbow honest 
Ichabod Dawks's Letter, and there, among other speculations, 
the historian takes upon him to say, " That it is discoursed 
that there will be a battle in Flanders before the armies 
separate, and many will have it to be to-morrow, the great 
battle of Ramillies being fought on a Whitsunday." A 
gentleman, who was a wag in this company, laughed at the 
expression, and said, " By Mr. Dawks's favour, I warrant 
you, if we meet them on Whitsunday or Monday we shall 10 
not stand upon the day with them, whether it be before or 
after the holidays." An admirer of this gentleman stood up, 
and told a neighbour at a distant table the conceit ; at which 
indeed we were all very merry. These reflections, in the 
writers of the transactions of the times, seize the noddles of 
such as were not born to have thoughts of their own, and 
consequently lay a weight upon every thing which they read 
in print. But Mr. Dawks concluded his paper with a 
courteous sentence, which was very well taken and applauded 
by the whole company. " We wish," says he, " all our 20 
customers a merry Whitsuntide and many of them." Honest 
Ichabod is as extraordinary a man as any of our fraternity, 
and as particular. His style is a dialect between the famili 
arity of talking and writing, and his letter such as you 
cannot distinguish whether print or manuscript, which gives 
us a refreshment of the idea from what has been told us from 
the press by others. This wishing a good Tide had its effect 
upon us, and he was commended for his salutation, as 
showing as well the capacity of a bell-man as a historian. 
My distempered old acquaintance read, in the next place. 30 
the account of the affairs abroad in the Courant : but the 
matter was told so distinctly, that these wanderers thought 
there -was no news in it ; this paper differing from the rest, 
as a history from a romance. The tautology, the contra 
diction, the doubts, and wants of confirmations, are what 
keep up imaginary entertainments in empty heads and 


produce neglect of their own affairs, poverty, and bankruptcy, 
in many of the shop -statesmen ; but turn the imaginations 
of those of a little higher orb into deliriums of dissatis 
faction, which is seen in a continual fret upon all that 
touches their brains, but more particularly upon any advan 
tage obtained by their country, where they are considered 
as lunatics, and therefore tolerated in their ravings. 

What I am now warning the people of is, that the news 
papers of this island are as pernicious to weak heads in 
10 England, as ever books of chivalry to Spain ; and therefore 
shall do all that in me lies, with the utmost care and 
vigilance imaginable, to prevent these growing evils. 


No. 242.] October 26, 1710. 

Quis iniquse 

Tarn patiens urbis, tarn ferrens ut teneat se? 
Juv. Sat. i. 30. 

To view so lewd a town, and to refrain, 

"What hoops of iron could my spleen contain? Dryden. 

IT was with very great displeasure I heard this day a man 
say of a companion of his, with an air of approbation, " You 
know Tom never fails of saying a spiteful thing. He has 

2Q a great deal of wit, but satire is his particular talent. Did 
you mind how he put the young fellow out of countenance 
that pretended to talk to him ? " Such impertinent 
applauses, which one meets with every day, put me upon 

. considering, what true raillery and satire were in themselves ; 
and this, methought, occurred to me from reflection upon 
the great and excellent persons that were admired for talents 
this way. When I had run over several such in my thoughts, 
I concluded, however unaccountable the assertion might 
appear at first sight, that good-nature was an essential 


quality in a satirist, and that all the sentiments which are 
beautiful in this way of writing, must proceed from that 
quality in the author. Good nature produces a disdain of ^/ 
all baseness, vice, and folly : which prompts them to express 
themselves with smartness against the errors of men, with 
out bitterness towards their persons. This quality keeps 
the mind in equanimity, and never lets an offence unseason 
ably throw a man out of his character. When Virgil said, 
" he that did not hate Bavius might love Maevius/' he was 
in perfect good humour ; and was not so much moved at 10 
their absurdities, as passionately to call them sots, or block 
heads in a direct invective, but laughed at them with a 
delicacy of scorn, without any mixture of anger. 

The best good man with the worst-natur'd muse, 

was the character among us of a gentleman as famous for 
his humanity as his wit. 

The ordinary subjects for satire are such as incite the 
greatest indignation in the best tempers, and consequently 
men of such a make are the best qualified for speaking of 
the offences in human life. These men can behold vice and 20 
folly, when they injure persons to whom they are wholly 
unacquainted, with the same severity as others resent the 
ills they do to themselves. A good-natured man cannot 
see an overbearing fellow put a bashful man of merit out 
of countenance, or out-strip him in the pursuit of any 
advantage, but he is on fire to succour the oppressed, to 
produce the merit of the one, and confront the impudence 
of the other. 

The men of the greatest character in this kind were 
Horace and Juvenal. There is not, that I remember, one ill- 30 
natured expression in all their writings, nor one sentence 
of severity, which does not apparently proceed from the 
contrary disposition. Whoever reads them, will, I believe, 
be of this mind ; and if they were read with this view, it 
might possibly persuade our young fellows, that they may 


be very witty men without speaking ill of any but those 
who deserve it. But, in the perusal of these writers, it may 
not be unnecessary to consider, that they lived in very 
different times. Horace was intimate with a prince of 
the greatest goodness and humanity imaginable, and his 
court was formed after his example : therefore the faults 
that poet falls upon were little inconsistencies in behaviour, 
false pretences to politeness, or impertinent affectations of 
what men were not fit for. Vices of a coarser sort could 

10 not come under his consideration, or enter the palace of 
Augustus. Juvenal, on the other hand, lived under 
Domitian, in whose reign every thing that was great and 
noble was banished the habitations of the men in power. 
Therefore he attacks vice as it passes by in triumph, not 
as it breaks into conversation. The fall of empire, contempt 
of glory, and a general degeneracy of manners, are before 
his eyes in all his writings. In the days of Augustus, to 
have talked like Juvenal had been madness ; or in those 
of Domitian, like Horace. Morality and virtue are every 

20 where recommended in Horace, as became a man in a polite 
court, from the beauty, the propriety, the convenience of 
pursuing them. Vice and corruption are attacked by 
Juvenal in a style which denotes, he fears he shall not be 
heard without he calls to them in their own language, with 
a barefaced mention of the villanies and obscenities of his 

This accidental talk of these two great men carries me 
from my design, which was to tell some coxcombs that run 
about this town with the name of smart satirical fellows, 

30 that they are by no means qualified for the characters they 
pretend to, of being severe upon other men ; for they want 
good -nature. There is no foundation in them for arriving 
at what they aim at ; and they may as well pretend to 
natter as rally agreeably, without being good-natured. 

There is a certain impartiality necessary to make what a 
man says bear any weight with those he speaks to. This 


quality, with respect to men's errors and vices, is never 
seen but in good-natured men. They have ever such a 
frankness of mind, and benevolence to all men, that they 
cannot receive impressions of unkindness without mature 
deliberation ; and writing or speaking ill of a man upon 
personal considerations, is so irreparable and mean an injury, 
that no one possessed of this quality is capable of doing it : 
but in all ages there have been interpreters to authors when 
living, of the same genius with the commentators into whose 
hands they fall when dead. I dare say it is impossible for 10 
any man of more wit than one of these to take any of the 
four-and-twenty letters, and form out of them a name to 
describe the character of a vicious man with greater life, 
but one of these would immediately cry, " Mr. Such-a-one is 
meant in that place." But the truth of it is, satirists 
describe the age, and backbiters assign their descriptions to 
private men. 

In all terms of reproof, when the sentence appears to arise 
from personal hatred or passion, it is not then made the 
cause of mankind, but a misunderstanding between two 20 
persons. For this reason the representations of a good- 
natured man bear a pleasantry in them, which shows there 
is no malignity at heart, and by consequence they are 
attended to by his hearers or readers, because they are 
unprejudiced. This deference is only what is due to him ; 
for no man thoroughly nettled can say a thing general 
enough, to pass off with the air of an opinion declared, and 
not a passion gratified. I remember a humorous fellow at 
Oxford, when he heard any one had spoken ill of him, used 
to say, " I will not take my revenge of him until I have 30 
forgiven him." What he meant by this was, that he would 
not enter upon this subject until it was grown as indifferent 
to him as any other : and I have by this rule, seen him more 
than once triumph over his adversary with an inimitable 
spirit and humour ; for he came to the assault against a man 
full of sore places and he himself invulnerable. 


There is no possibility of succeeding in a satirical way of 
writing or speaking, except a man throws himself quite out 
of the question. It is great vanity to think any one will 
attend to a thing, because it is your quarrel. You must 
make your satire the concern of society in general if you 
would have it regarded. When it is so, the good-nature 
of a man of wit will prompt him to many brisk and dis 
dainful sentiments and replies, to which all the malice in 
the world will not be able to repartee, 


No. 251.] November 15, 1710. 

10 Quisnam igitur liber ? Sapiens, sibique imperiosus ; 

Quern neque pauperies, neque mors, nee vincula terrent : 

Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores 

Fortis, et in seipso totus teres atque rotundus, 

Extern! ne quid valeafc per leve morari ; 

In quern manca ruit semper fortuna. Hor. Sett. ii. 7. 83. 

Who then is free? The wise, who well maintains 
An empire o'er himself ; whom neither chains 
Nor want, nor death, with slavish fear inspire, 
Who boldly answers to his warm desire, 
20 Who can ambition's vainest gifts despise, 

Firm in himself who on himself relies, 
Polish'd and round who runs his proper course, 
And breaks misfortune with superior force. Francis. 

From my own Apartment, November 15. 

IT is necessary to an easy and happy life, to possess our 
minds in such a manner as to be always well satisfied with 
our own reflections. The way to this state is to measure our 
actions by our own opinion, and not by that of the rest of 
the world. The sense of other men ought to prevail over us 
30 in things of less consideration, but not in concerns where 
truth and honour are engaged. When we look into the 


bottom of things, what at first appears a paradox is a plain 
truth ; and those professions, which, for want of being duly 
weighed, seem to proceed from a sort of romantic philosophy, 
and ignorance of the world, after a little reflection, are so 
reasonable, that it is direct madness to walk by any other 
rules. Thus to contradict our desires, and to conquer the 
impulses of our ambition, if they do not fall in with what we 
in our inward sentiments approve, is so much our interest, 
and so absolutely necessary to our real happiness, that to 
contemn all the wealth and power in the world, where they 10 
stand in competition with a man's honour, is rather good 
sense than greatness of mind. 

Did we consider that the mind of a man is the man him 
self, we should think it the most unnatural sort of self- 
murder to sacrifice the sentiment of the soul to gratify the 
appetites of the body. Bless us ! is it possible, that when 
the necessities of life are supplied, a man would flatter to be 
rich, or circumvent to be powerful ! When we meet a poor 
wretch, urged with hunger and cold, asking an alms, we are 
apt to think this a state we could rather starve than submit 20 
to : but yet how much more despicable is his condition, who is 
above necessity, and yet shall resign his reason and his 
integrity to purchase superfluities ! Both these are abject 
and common beggars ; but sure it is less despicable to beg 
a supply to a man's hunger than his vanity. But custom 
and general prepossessions have so far prevailed over an un 
thinking world, that those necessitous creatures, who cannot 
relish life without applause, attendance, and equipage, are 
so far from making a contemptible figure, that distressed 
virtue is less esteemed than successful vice. But if a man's 30 
appeal, in cases that regard his honour, were made to his 
own soul, there would be a basis and standing rule for our 
conduct, and we should always endeavour rather to be, than 
appear honourable. Mr. Collier in his " Essay on Fortitude," 
has treated this subject with great wit and magnanimity. 
" What," says he, " can be more honourable than to have 


courage enough to execute the commands of reason and con 
science ; to maintain the dignity of our nature, and the 
station assigned us ? to be proof against poverty, pain, and 
death itself ? I mean so far as not to do any thing that is 
scandalous or sinful to avoid them. To stand adversity 
under all shapes with decency and resolution ! To do this, is 
to be great above title and fortune. This argues the soul of 
a heavenly extraction, and is worthy the offspring of the 

10 What a generous ambition has this man pointed to us? 
When men have settled in themselves a conviction, by such 
noble precepts, that there is nothing honourable which is not 
accompanied with innocence ; nothing mean but what has 
guilt in it : I say, when they have attained thus much, 
though poverty, pain, and death, may still retain their 
terrors, yet riches, pleasures, and honours, will easily lose 
their charms, if they stand between us and our integrity. 

What is here said with allusion to fortune and fame, may 
as justly be applied to wit and beauty ; for these latter are 

20 as adventitious as the other, and as little concern the essence 
of the soul. They are all laudable in the man who possesses 
them, only for the just application of them. A bright imag 
ination, while it is subservient to an honest and noble soul, 
is a faculty which makes a man justly admired by mankind, 
and furnishes him with reflections upon his own actions, 
which add delicates to the feast of a good conscience : but 
when wit descends to wait upon sensual pleasures or promote 
the base purposes of ambition, it is then to be contemned in 
proportion to its excellence. If a man will not resolve to 

30 place the foundation of his happiness in his own mind, life is 
a bewildered and unhappy state, incapable of rest or tran 
quillity. For to such a one, the general applause of valour, 
wit, nay of honesty itself, can give him but a very feeble 
comfort ; since it is capable of being interrupted by any one 
who wants either understanding or good-nature to see or 
acknowledge such excellencies. This rule is so necessary, 


that one may very safely say, it is impossible to know any 
true relish of our being without it. Look about you in 
common life among the ordinary race of mankind, and you 
will find merit in every kind is allowed only to those who 
are in particular districts or sets of company ; but, since men 
can have little pleasure in these faculties which denominate 
them persons of distinction, let them give up such an empty 
pursuit, and think nothing essential to happiness but what is 
in their own power ; the capacity of reflecting with pleasure 
on their own actions, however they are interpreted. 10 

It is so evident a truth, that it is only in our own bosoms 
we are to search for any thing to make us happy, that it is, 
methinks, a disgrace to our nature to talk of taking our 
measures from thence only, as a matter of fortitude. When 
all is well there, the vicissitudes and distinctions of life are 
the mere scenes of a drama ; and he will never act his part 
well, who has his thoughts more fixed upon the applause of 
the audience than the design of his part. 

The life of a man who acts with a steady integrity, with 
out valuing the interpretation of his actions, has but one 20 
uniform regular path to move in, where he cannot meet 
opposition, or fear ambuscade. On the other side, the least 
deviation from the rules of honour introduces a train of 
numberless evils, and involves him in inexplicable mazes. 
He that has entered into guilt has bid adieu to rest ; and 
every criminal has his share of the misery expressed so 
emphatically in the tragedian, 

Macbeth shall sleep no more ! 

It was with detestation of any other grandeur but the 
calm command of his own passions, that the excellent Mr. 30 
Cowley cries out with so much justice : 

If e'er ambition did my fancy cheat 
With any thought so mean as to be great, 
Continue, heaven, still from me to remove 
The humble blessings of that life I love i 



No. 202.] July 25, 1710. 

Hie est; 
Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit tequus. 

Hor. Ep. i. xi ver. ult. 

True happiness is to no spot confin'd 
If you preserve a firm and equal mind, 
'Tis here, 'tis there, and everywhere. 

From my own Apartment, July 24. 

THIS afternoon I went to visit a gentleman of my acquaint 
ance at Mile-End ; and passing through Stepney church 
yard, I could not forbear entertaining myself with the 
10 inscriptions on the tombs and graves. Among others, I 
observed one with this notable memorial : 

"Here lies the body of T. B." 

This fantastical desire of being remembered only by the 
two first letters of a name, led me into the contemplation 
of the vanity and imperfect attainments of ambition in 
general. When I run back in my imagination all the men 
whom I have ever known and conversed with in my whole 
life, there are but very few who have not used their 
faculties in the pursuit of what it is impossible to acquire ; 

20 or left the possession of what they might have been, at 
their setting out, masters, to search for it where it was out 
of their reach. In this thought it was not possible to forget 
the instance of Pyrrhus, who proposing to himself in dis 
course with a philosopher, one, and another, and another 
conquest, was asked, what he would do after all that? 
"Then," says the king, "we will make merry." He was 
well answered, "What hinders your doing that in the 
condition you are already ?" The restless desire of exerting 
themselves above the common level of mankind is not to 

30 be resisted in some tempers ; and minds of this make may 


be observed in every condition of life. Where such men 
do not make to themselves, or meet with employment, the 
soil of their constitution runs into tares and weeds. An 
old friend of mine, who lost a major's post forty years ago, 
and quitted, has ever since studied maps, encampments, 
retreats, and countermarches ; with no other design but to 
feed his spleen and ill-humour, and furnish himself with 
matter for arguing against all the successful actions of 
others. He that, at his first setting out in the world, was 
the gayest man in our regiment ; ventured his life with 10 
alacrity, and enjoyed it with satisfaction ; encouraged men 
below him, and was courted by men above him, has been 
ever since the most froward creature breathing. His warm 
complexion spends itself now only in a general spirit of 
contradiction : for which he watches all occasions, and is in 
his conversation still upon sentry, treats all men like enemies, 
with every other impertinence of a speculative warrior. 

He that observes in himself this natural inquietude, 
should take all imaginable care to put his mind in some 
method of gratification ; or he will soon find himself grow 20 
into the condition of this disappointed major. Instead of 
courting proper occasions to rise above others, he will be 
ever studious of pulling others down to him : it being the 
common refuge of disappointed ambition, to ease themselves 
by detraction. It would be no great argument against 
ambition, that there are such mortal things in the dis 
appointment of it ; but it certainly is a forcible exception, 
that there can be no solid happiness in the success of it. 
If we value popular praise, it is in the power of the meanest 
of the people to disturb us by calumny. If the fame of 30 
being happy, we cannot look into a village, but we see 
crowds in actual possession of what we seek only the 
appearance. To this may be added, that there is I know 
not what malignity in the minds of ordinary men, to oppose 
you in what they see you fond of ; and it is a certain ex 
ception against a man's receiving applause, that he visibly 


courts it. However, this is not only the passion of great 
and undertaking spirits ; but you see it in the lives of 
such as, one would believe, were far enough removed from 
the ways of ambition. The rural esquires of this nation 
even eat and drink out of vanity. A vain-glorious fox- 
hunter shall entertain half a county, for the ostentation 
of his beef and beer, without the least affection for any 
of the crowd about him. He feeds them, because he thinks 
it a superiority over them that he does so ; and they devour 

10 him, because they know he treats them out of insolence. 
This indeed is ambition in grotesque ; but may figure to 
us the condition of politer men, whose only pursuit is 
glory. When the superior acts out of a principle of vanity, 
the dependant will be sure to allow it him ; because he 
knows it destructive of the very applause which is courted 
by the man who favours him, and consequently makes him 
nearer himself. 

But as every man living has more or less of this in 
centive, which makes men impatient of an inactive con- 

20 dition, and urges men to attempt what may tend to their 
reputation, it is absolutely necessary they should form to 
themselves an ambition, which is in every man's power to 
gratify. This ambition would be independent, and would 
consist only in acting what, to a man's own mind, appears 
most great and laudable. It is a pursuit in the power of 
every man, and is only a regular prosecution of what he 
himself approves. It is what can be interrupted by no 
outward accidents ; for no man can be robbed of his good 
intention. One of our society of the Trumpet therefore 

30 started last night a notion, which I thought had reason 
in it. "It is, rnethinks," said he, "an unreasonable thing, 
that heroic virtue should, as it seems to be at present, be 
confined to a certain order of men, and be attainable by 
none but those whom fortune has elevated to the most 
conspicuous stations. I would have every thing to be 
esteemed as heroic, which is great and uncommon in the 


circumstances of the man who performs it." Thus there 
would be no virtue in human life, which every one of the 
species would not have a pretence to arrive at, and an 
ardency to exert. Since fortune is not in our power, let 
us be as little as possible in hers. Why should it be 
necessary that a man should be rich, to be generous ? If 
we measured by the quality and not the quantity of 
things, the particulars which accompany an action is what 
should denominate it mean or great. The highest station 
of human life is to be attained by each man that pretends 10 
to it : for every man can be as valiant, as generous, as 
wise, and as merciful, as the faculties and opportunities 
which he has from heaven and fortune will permit. He 
that can say to himself, "I do as much good, and am as 
virtuous as my most earnest endeavours will allow me," 
whatever is his station in the world, is to see himself 
possessed of the highest honour. If ambition is not thus 
turned, it is no other than a continual succession of anxiety 
and vexation. But when it has this cast, it invigorates 
the mind ; and the consciousness of its own worth is a 20 
reward, which is not in the power of envy, reproach, or 
detraction, to take from it. Thus the seat of solid honour 
is in a man's own bosom ; and no one can want support 
who is in possession of an honest conscience, but he who 
would suffer the reproaches of it for other greatness. 


No. 208.] August 8, 1710. 

Si dixeris aestuo, sudat. Juv, Sat. iii. 103. 

... If you complain of heat 
They rub th' unsweating brow and swear they sweat. 

From iny own Apartment, August 7. 

AN old acquaintance, who met me this morning, seemed 30 
overjoyed to see me, and told me I looked as well as he had 


known me do these forty years : " but," continued he, " not 
quite the man you were, when we visited together at Lady 
Brightly's. Oh ! Isaac, those days are over. Do you think 
there are any such fine creatures now living, as we then 
conversed with?" He went on with a thousand incoherent 
circumstances, which, in his imagination, must needs please 
me ; but they had quite the contrary effect. The flattery 
with which he began, in telling me how well I wore, was 
not disagreeable ; but his indiscreet mention of a set of 

10 acquaintance we had out-lived, recalled ten thousand things 
to my memory, which made me reflect upon my present 
condition with regret. Had he indeed been so kind as, 
after a long absence, to felicitate me upon an indolent and 
easy old age ; and mentioned how much he and I had to 
thank for, who at our time of day could walk firmly, eat 
heartily, and converse cheerfully, he had kept up my 
pleasure in myself. But of all mankind, there are none so 
shocking as these injudicious civil people. They ordinarily 
begin upon something that they know must be a satisfaction ; 

20 but then, for fear of the imputation of flattery, they follow 
it with the last thing in the world of which you would 
be reminded. It is this that perplexes civil persons. The 
reason that there is such a general outcry among us against 
flatterers is, that there are so very few good ones. It is the 
nicest art in this life, and is a part of eloquence which does 
not want the preparation that is necessary to all other parts 
of it, that your audience should be your well-wishers ; for 
praise from an enemy is the most pleasing of all commenda 

30 It is generally to be observed, that the person most 
agreeable to a man for a constancy is he that has no shining 
qualities, but is a certain degree above great imperfections ; 
whom he can live with as his inferior, and who will either 
overlook, or not observe his little defects. Such an easy 
companion as this either now and then throws out a little 
flattery, or lets a man silently flatter himself in his superi- 


ority to him. If you take notice, there is hardly a rich man 
in the world, who has not such a led friend of small 
consideration, who is a darling for his insignificancy. It is 
a great ease to have one in our own shape a species below us, 
and who, without being listed in our service, is by nature of 
our retinue. These dependants are of excellent use on a 
rainy day, or when a man has not a mind to dress ; or to 
exclude solitude, when one has neither a mind to that or to 
company. There are of this good-natured order, who are so 
kind as to divide themselves, and do these good offices to 10 
many. Five or six of them visit a whole quarter of the 
town, and exclude the spleen, without fees, from the families 
they frequent If they do not prescribe physic, they can 
be company when you take it. Very great benefactors 
to the rich, or those whom they call people at their ease, 
are your persons of no consequence. I have known some 
of them, by the help of a little cunning, make delicious 
flatterers. They know the course of the town, and the 
general characters of persons ; by this means they will 
sometimes tell the most agreeable falsehoods imaginable. 20 
They will acquaint you, that such a one of a quite contrary 
party said, "That though you were engaged in different 
interests, yet he had the greatest respect for your good 
sense and address." When one of these has a little cunning, 
he passes his time in the utmost satisfaction to himself and 
his friends ; for his position is never to report or speak a 
displeasing thing to his friend. As for letting him go on in 
an error, he knows, advice against them is the office of 
persons of greater talents and less discretion. 

The Latin word for a flatterer, assentator, implies no more 30 
than a person, that barely consents ; and indeed such a one 
if a man were able to purchase or maintain him, cannot be 
bought too dear. Such a one never contradicts you ; but 
gains upon you, not by a fulsome way of commending you in 
broad terms, but liking whatever you propose or utter ; at 
the same time, is ready to beg your pardon, and gainsay 


you, if you chance to speak ill of yourself. An old lady 
is very seldom without such a companion as this, who can 
recite the names of all her lovers, and the matches refused 
by her in the days when she minded such vanities, as she is 
pleased to call them, though she so much approves the 
mention of them. It is to be noted that a woman's flatterer 
is generally elder than herself ; her years serving at once to 
recommend her patroness's age, and to add weight to her 
complaisance in all other particulars. 

10 We gentlemen of small fortunes are extremely necessitous 
in this particular. I have indeed one who smokes with me 
often ; but his parts are so low, that all the incense he does 
me is to fill his pipe with me, and to be out at just as many 
whiffs as I take. This is all the praise or assent that he 
is capable of ; yet there are more hours when I would rather 
be in his company than in that of the brightest man I know. 
It would be a hard matter to give an account of this 
inclination to be flattered ; but if we go to the bottom of it, 
we shall find, that the pleasure in it is something like that 

20 of receiving money which we lay out. Every man thinks 
he has an estate of reputation, and is glad to see one that 
will bring any of it home to him. It is no matter how 
dirty a bag it is conveyed to him in, or by how clownish a 
messenger, so the money be good. All that we want, to be 
pleased with flattery, is to believe that the man is sincere 
who gives it us. It is by this one accident, that absurd 
creatures often outrun the most skilful in this art. Their 
want of ability is here an advantage ; and their bluntness, 
as it is the seeming effect of sincerity, is the best cover to 

30 artifice. 

Terence introduces a flatterer talking to a coxcomb, whom 
he cheats out of a livelihood ; and a third person on the 
stage makes on him this pleasant remark, " This fellow has 
an art of making fools madmen." The love of flattery is, 
indeed, sometimes the weakness of a great mind ; but you 
see it also in persons, who otherwise discover no manner 


of relish of any thing above mere sensuality. These latter 
it sometimes improves ; but always debases the former. A 
fool is in himself the object of pity, until he is flattered. 
By the force of that, his stupidity is raised into affectation, 
and he becomes of dignity enough to be ridiculous. I 
remember a droll, that upon one's saying, " The times are so 
ticklish, that there must great care be taken what one says 
in conversation "; answered with an air of surliness and 
honesty, "If people will be free, let them be so in the 
manner that I am, who never abuse a man but to his face." 10 
He had no reputation for saying dangerous truths ; therefore 
when it was repeated, " You abuse a man but to his face ? " 
"Yes," says he, " I flatter him." 

It is indeed the greatest of injuries to flatter any but the 
unhappy, or such as are displeased with themselves for some 
infirmity. In this latter case we have a member of our 
club, who, when Sir Jeffery falls asleep, wakens him with 
snoring. This makes Sir Jeffery hold up for some moments 
the longer, to see there are men younger than himself 
among us, who are more lethargic than he is. 20 

When flattery is practised upon any other consideration, 
it is the most abject thing in nature ; nay, I cannot think of 
any character below the flatterer, except he that envies him. 
You meet with fellows prepared to be as mean as possible 
in their condescensions and expressions ; but they want 
persons and talents to rise up to such a baseness. As a 
coxcomb is a fool of parts, so is a flatterer a knave of parts. 

The best of this order, that I know, is one who disguises 
it under a spirit of contradiction or reproof. He told an 
arrant driveller the other day, that he did not care for being 30 
in company with him, because he heard he turned his absent 
friends into ridicule. And upon Lady Autumn's disputing 
with him about something that happened at the Revolution, 
he replied with a very angry tone, " Pray, madam, give me 
leave to know more of a thing in which I was actually 
concerned, than you who were then in your nurse's arms." 



P. I, 1. 7. Grecian Coffee-House. In the first number of The 
Taller, published on Tuesday, April 12, 1709, Steele, when 
describing the character and aims of the new paper, states that 
"all accounts of gallantry, pleasure and entertainment shall be 
under the article of White's Chocolate House ; poetry, under that 
of Will's Coffee-house ; learning, under the title of the Grecian ; 
foreign and domestic news, you will have from St. James's Coffee 
house ; and what else I have to offer on any other subject shall 
be dated from my own apartment." The Grecian Coffee-house 
was situated in a small street off the Strand, known as Devereux 
Court, closed in 1843. It was the favourite resort of the more 
staid and learned men of the period. Here Sir Isaac Newton 
had drunk coffee, Addison was a constant visitor, and in later 
times Goldsmith played his flute. 

1. 8. from an unknown hand ; there is another letter, a charm- 
ing one, from this country friend in No. 112 of The Tatler. 

1. 14. bills of mortality : these were the earliest form of the 
record of births, deaths, and marriages in the British Isles, and 
were published weekly. In the Plague year, 1665, Pepys, in an 
entry under September, thus refers in his Diary to them, " To 
the Tower, and there sent for the weekly Bill and find 8,252 dead 
in all, and of these 6,978 of the Plague." It was not until 1836 
that a reliable record was kept, when the Registrar-General's 
Department was instituted. The earliest attempt to compile 
such statistics is said to have been due to Cromwell, Henry VIII. 's 
minister. This passage then would mean, that Bickerstaff's name 
is more widely known than the mere record of his birth in the 
' bills of mortality ' could make it. 

1. 18. out of a coffee-house, i.e. except from a coffee-house. The 
first coffee-house in England was not in London, but in Oxford, 



where a Jew named Jacobs established one ; this was in 1650. 
Two years later Mr. Edwards, a merchant, brought with him 
from Smyrna to London a Syrian youth named Pasqua Rosee, to 
prepare coffee for his private consumption. Shortly afterwards 
he allowed Pasqua to start a coffee-house in St. Michael's Alley, 
Cornhill ; and this was the first of those houses which rapidly 
became such centres of social life and political influence in the 
eighteenth century. Amongst the virtues which Pasqua, in his 
amusing advertisement, claims for the novel beverage are that 
" it much quickens the spirits, and makes the heart lightsome ; 
it is good against sore eyes, and the better if you hold your 
head over it, and take in the steam that way." Pope refers to 
its exhilarating influence in his lines to Henry Cromwell : 
" While Coffee shall to British nymphs be dear, 
While fragrant steams the bended head shall cheer." 

1. 20. to endeavour at the covering, to attempt to conceal or 

1. 21. common, common-place. 

P. 2, 1. 1. a grotto ; an Italian word derived through the 
Latin from the Greek Kpwn-Tr) (pron. krupte), a vault. The 
artificial taste of the eighteenth century gave rise to a somewhat 
childish eccentricity in the matter of landscape gardening. 
Pope's garden at Twickenham is a well-known instance. Here, 
within the limited space of five acres, he had "a grove, an 
orangery, a wilderness, a mount, a bowling green," besides other 
features; but the favourite object of his attention was the famous 
'grotto,' which was nothing but an underground tunnel, the 
walls of which were thickly covered with shells, stones, fossils, 
and other natural curiosities. 

1. 3. Tom's, i.e. Tom's Coffee-house. One of the most popular 
of the many London coffee-houses. It was situated at No. 17 
Russell Street, Co vent Garden ; the house did not disappear until 
1865, although it had then long ceased to be a coffee-house. 

Will's, "The father of the modern Club." It was a coffee 
house kept by one William Urwin, and situated, like Tom's, in 
Russell Street. It was Dryden's favourite resort. Here he had 
the place of honour by the fire in winter, and on summer days 
he sat in a corner of the balcony overlooking the street ; these 
places he called his "winter and summer seats." It was to this 
coffee-house that Pope, then only twelve years of age, was taken, 
in response to earnest entreaties, to see his great master Dryden, 
whom he afterwards described as a "plump man, with a down 
look, and not very conversible.' 

White's, i.e. White's Chocolate-house, established in 1698, in 
St. James's Street, and close to St. James's Palace. At this 
house the famous White's Club had its origin, which, after 


Addison and Steele had passed away, developed into one of the 
greatest gambling clubs in the country. Amongst the original 
members were the Earl of Chesterfield, the noted letter-writer 
and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and Colley Gibber, the only 
actor ever elected a member. Swift condemned it as "the bane 
of half the English nobility." 

1. 4. St. James's, a coffee-house frequented by the Whigs from 
the time of Queen Anne, until it was finally closed in 1806. 
When Mr. Spectator (Spectator, No. 403) goes his rounds of the 
coffee-houses to ascertain the truth about the report of the 
French king's death, he says, "that I might begin as near the 
fountain-head as possible, I first of all called in at St. James's 
where I found the whole outward room in a buzz of politics." 
And so Steele selects it as a locality from which foreign news 
was to be obtained for The Tatler. This coffee-house was 
memorable later on as the place where Goldsmith's poem 
Retaliation originated, and was read by its author. Johnson, 
Garrick, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Burke, Goldsmith, and others 
dined here together. Goldsmith was generally the last of the 
party to appear, and on one occasion each member of the 
company wrote an epitaph on "the late Dr. Goldsmith." At 
their next meeting Goldsmith, in retaliation, produced his poem, 
in which he sketched the various members of the party. 

1. 9. ingenious, the intellectual people, the wits. The word 
was often, at this period, confused with ' ingenuous. ' 

1. 11. Isaac Bickerstaff. For origin of this name, see Intro 

1. 12. justified, vindicated, defended. Cf. Milton, Par. Lost, I. : 
" . . . assert Eternal Providence, 
And justify the ways of God to men." 

1. 18. a complete set. The Tatler was published on Tuesday, 
Thursday, and Saturday, the days upon which our ancestors 
could post their letters for the country : and thus the paper 
contained the latest news for the country subscribers. See 

1. 19. lucubrations, a clumsy word from the Latin lucubro 
(connected with lux = light), to work by candle-light ; hence, a 
work composed by lamp-light, or in retirement, was called a 

1. 28. the vulgar, i.e. the generality of people. The word has 
changed its meaning since the eighteenth century. Then it 
meant no more than 'the people,' and preserved its close relation 
ship with its Latin original, rulgus, the multitude, having no sug 
gestion of vulgarity. 

1. 29. the frolic, i.e. gay and thoughtless people. The word 
frolic was originally an adjective, and was borrowed from the 


Dutch in the sixteenth century (vrolijlc, merry). It is now 
obsolescent as an adjective, less rare as a substantive, but 
common as a verb. For its use as an adjective, cf. Milton, 
L' Allegro, 

" The frolic wind that breathes the wind " ; 
and Scott, Lady of the. Lake, 

" 'Tis now a seraph bold with touch of fire, 
"Pis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. ;> 

1. 35. elegant, refined ; from Lat. eligo, to select. 
P. 3, L 10. advices, communications. 

1. 13. impertinence, an unpleasant or intrusive element. The 
word properly means an irrelevancy, from Lat. in and pertVMO t 
not to belong to. 

1. 25. It is remarkable, etc. The conclusion of this essay is 
particularly interesting, as, while ostensibly a sketch of the 
imaginary Isaac BickerstajFs life, it contains an outline of 
Steele's own career, and should be studied from this point of 
view. For further allusions to personal incidents see following 

1. 31. taw, a Dutch word for a special kind of marble. Dutch 
marbles were in former days in much repute. 

1. 32. barbarously used, severely punished. Steele (Spectator, 
No. 157), in after years, vigorously protested against the cruel 
floggings to which schoolboys were subject in the eighteenth 
century. "Men were flogged into drill and discipline, they 
were flogged into courage, they were flogged into obedience ; 
boys were flogged into learning, 'prentices into diligence; 
women were flogged into virtue. Father Stick has still his 
disciples, but in the last century he was king" (Besant, London). 

1. 34. false concords, i.e. grammatical errors in his Latin 
exercises. Steele himself did not enter the Charterhouse until 
his thirteenth year, i.e. in 1684. 

1. 35. the University. Steele did not matriculate at Christ 
Church, Oxford, until in his eighteenth year. Addison, who 
was his junior by six weeks, entered Magdalen College, Oxford, 
at the early age of fifteen. Steele, like Isaac Bickerstaff, left 
without taking a degree, and, like him too, immediately enlisted 
on leaving the University. See Introduction. 

P. 4, 1. 3. the occult sciences, the principal being astrology and 
alchemy. The former, an application of astronomical facts for 
purposes of prediction, had its origin in the East in very remote 
times, the Egyptians and Chaldeans, and later the Romans, 
being noted experts. The first half of the seventeenth century 
saw an extraordinary revival of the superstition. James I., 
Charles I., and even Oliver Cromwell are said to have consulted 


astrologers. It is worth noticing that Morin, the last of the 
great astrologers, died in 1656, ten years after the supposed 
birth of Isaac Bickerstajf, who is stated to have been sixty-four 
years of age in 1709, and was therefore born in 1646. Alchemy 
was the art by which it was pretended that gold and silver could 
be made out of the baser metals, the so-called philosopher's stone 
being the agent in the imposture. It is an interesting fact in 
this connection that Steele himself, before he married for the 
first time in 1705, was actually engaged in making chemical 
experiments in pursuit of the philosopher's stone (see Aitken's 
Life of Steele, Vol. I., p. 143). 

1. 4. Oliver Cromwell. The Protector died on the 3rd of 
September, 1658, and was buried in Henry VII. 's beautiful 
chapel in Westminster Abbey. After the Restoration, Charles 
II. directed that the body should be disinterred and hung on a 
gallows at Tyburn. After this the remains, with the exception 
of the head, were buried at the foot of the gallows. The head 
was fixed upon a pole at Westminster Hall. Very recently 
(1895) a head, stated on good grounds to have been that of 
Oliver Cromwell, has been brought to light in London : a portion 
of an iron spike which had been thrust through the skull is still 

1. 7. conjurer, used here in its original sense of wizard, 
magician. Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Woman-Hater : 

" Now do I 

Sit like a conjurer within my circle, 
And these the devils that are raised about me." 

1. 10. Dick's coffee-house, in Fleet Street, called so after Dick 
Turner, the proprietor. The house itself was an old one. It 
was originally the printing office where Richard Tottel, printer 
to Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, published, in 1557, the 
first English collection of songs and sonnets, better known as 
TotteVs Miscellany. It was in this house that Cowper, the poet, 
many years after, developed his first attack of insanity. He 
here read a letter in a newspaper which he imagined had been 
written with the object of driving him to commit suicide. 
The Trumpet. See Essay 9 and notes. 
Sheer-lane, otherwise spelled Shire-lane, near Temple Bar. 


P. 4, 1. 17. no relish of their being, no pleasure in life. 
1. 23. instances, proofs, evidence. 

1. 25. manes, the spirits. It was the name generally applied 
by the Romans to souls when separated from the body. The 


origin of the word is unknown. The inscriptions on Roman 
tombs begin with the letters D.M., i.e. Dis Manibus, to remind 
the living that the grave was sacred to the departed, and should 
not sacrilegiously be disturbed. 

1. 27. commemorate, to recall with solemnity. The word 
commemoration is still used ecclesiastically for days upon which 
the acts of saints are recalled to memory, and in universities for 
days upon which a founder's name is recalled with gratitude. 

P. 5, 1. 15. by the benefit of, by the kindness or goodness of. 

1. 20. poises the heart, places a poise or weight upon the heart, 
and so checks its excited and unnatural action. 

1. 33. The first sense of sorrow, etc. Although Isaac Bicker- 
s^a/f nominally speaks here, this passage has always been accepted 
as a touching reference by Steele to his own early sorrow on the 
death of his father. 

1. 34. my father, Richard Steele, a Dublin solicitor, of Moun- 
taine (the present Monkstown), Co. Dublin, and Sub-Sheriff of 
the Co. Tipperary in 1672. 

P. 6, 1. 2. my mother. The maiden name of Steele's mother 
was Elinor Sheyles. She was a widow when Steele's father 
married her, having been first the wife of Thomas Symes of 
Dublin, Esq. 

1. 3. battledore, a distortion of the original word, and now still 

further incorrectly spelled battledoor. It is a corruption of a 

Provenpal word batedor, a washing-beetle ; from battre, to beat, 

and -dor, a form of the Latin suffix -tor, expressing the agent. 

fell a beating, a in such expressions is equivalent to on. 

1. 31. We, that are very old. Isaac Bickerstaff was now sixty- 
five years of age. See note p. 4, 1. 3. 

1. 32. passages, incidents. 

1. 35. ofllce. Steele uses the word in the sense of an act of 
worship. It is still used ecclesiastically in this sense, as in 
'offices for the dead.' 

P. 7,1. 5. passions, emotions. The word had a wider meaning 
than it has now. See Locke, On the Unman Understanding : 
" Some sort of passions arising from them (i.e. the actions of the 
mind), such as is the satisfaction or uneasiness arising from any 
thought. " 

1. 26. ignorantly, unconsciously, unwittingly. In this sense it 
occur sin the Authorized Version of the Bible, Acts, xvii. 23 : 
"Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto 
you. " 

1. 27. carelessly, free from any conscious effort or anxiety to 


1. 30. thoughtless, not in our modern sense, with a suggestion 
of unkindness, but unsuspecting, unconscious. 

P. 8, 1. 2. Garraway's coffee-house. Situated in Change 
Alley. This was one of the most popular of the coffee-houses. 
The original proprietor was Thomas Garway or Garraway, who 
dealt in tobacco and coffee, and here tea was sold for the first 
time in England. It became famous as a place of resort during 
the exciting times of the South Sea Bubble. It was a favourite 
locality with Dean Swift when in London. 

1. 4. we can be company, i.e. we can be companionable. 

1. 11. We drank two bottles a man. The two blots upon the 
moral history of the eighteenth century were the drinking and 
gambling habits of the nation. "It was about this time that 
England began to drink hard, and she continued to do so for 
about a hundred years " (Besant, London}. All classes drank ; 
and although Steele and even Addison sometimes exceeded, they, 
and most of the greater literary men, were sober in comparison 
with the society in which they lived. 


P. 8, 1. 20. entertainments, sources of enjoyment. 

1. 28. complication, from Lat. con, together, and plico, to 
weave ; the modern word is generally employed in the sense of 
unpleasant or difficult entanglement ; here means merely a 
blending, an intertwining. 

P. 9, 1. 14. mighty subject, a subject of great interest. 

1. 21. Mrs. Mary. The use of titles Mrs. and Miss, as denoting 
married and unmarried women respectively, is comparatively 
modern. In former times Mrs., in addition to its present 
application, was descriptive of young unmarried ladies, who 
were addressed as Madam, Miss being reserved for little girls 
under ten. Thus in Shakspere's Merry Wives of Windsor, the 
mother and daughter are Mistress Page and Mistress Anne Page. 
Steele before his marriage to Mary Scurlock addresses her as 
Mrs. Scurlock ; and Hester Johnson (Stella) is always spoken of 
by Dean Swift as Mrs. Johnson. 

1. 28. in the coach, i.e. either in the mail-coach or the stage 
coach. The mail coaches generally started from London at 
eight o'clock in the evening, and the charge was fourpeiice a mile 
for passengers. The ordinary stage-coach carried passengers for 
threepence a mile. 

P. 10, 1. 1. play-house, an old-fashioned word for the theatre ; 
so the actors were called players. The hours for theatrical 

7-12,] A VISIT TO A FRIEND. 87 

performances have been gradually getting later. The play at 
the Elizabethan theatre commenced at three o'clock. In 1663, 
on the first play-bill issued at Drury Lane Theatre, the hour 
is still three o'clock. 

1. 21. so many obligations to her, so deeply indebted to her. 

1. 22. moderation, i.e. of anxiety. 

1. 27. complacency to my inclinations, consideration for my 

P. n, 1. 3. Tearfulness, reluctance, shrinking from. 

1. 4. the meanest, the humblest member of our household. 

1. 8. quickest joy, most lively pleasure (A.-S. cwic, alive). The 
use of the word quick, as equivalent to swift, expeditious, is 
secondary and modern. 

1. 13. baby, a doll ; so called because originally made to repre 
sent a baby. 

1. 14. the gossiping of it, the prattle about the doll. 

1. 26. applying herself to me, addressing me. 

1. 34. full-bottomed periwigs were wigs which fell down 
behind over the neck and back. Periwig is derived from the 
Dutch form of the French word ptrruque, a wig. Wigs, in the 
Elizabethan period, were worn by actors only, and so HnmUt 
(Act in., sc. ii. ) describes a bad actor as a "robustious, periwig- 
pated knave." They did not appear as an ordinary head-dress 
until the time of Charles II. ; and until early in the reign of 
George III., when the fashion changed, they were universally 
worn by the better classes. In 1765 the Master Perruquiers of 
London presented a petition to the king to beg him to revive the 
fashion. They were never worn by the working classes, who tied 
their hair behind. 

1. 3."). open-breasted, i.e. with the waistcoat open, so as to 
display the shirt, a fashion at one time in vogue amongst the 
young men of Steele's day. In Tatter No. 246 Steele describes 
a "fat fellow," who, " out of an affectation of youth, wore his 
breast open in the midst of winter," and he writes to beg of him 
" to button his waistcoat from collar to waistband." 

P. 12, 1. 1. easiness, ease of manner. 

1. 6. the front box. It was the custom in the earlier part of 
the eighteenth century for ladies to occupy the front boxes of the 
theatre, while gentlemen sat in the side-boxes. 

1. 11. toast, from the Old French tostee, scorched bread (Lat. 
torreo = to parch). A recognized beauty was called a fonsf, 
because her health Avas frequently drunk amongst the fashionable 
gentlemen about town. The origin of the term is amusingly, 
but incorrectly, given in Tathr No. 24. The true origin of this 
use of the word is from the custom of placing a piece of 


toasted bread or biscuit in the bowl ; the drink so treated was 
called a toast, and finally the person whose health was drunk 
received the title. Compare Sheridan, School for Scandal : 
" Let the toast pass, 
Drink to the lass, 

I warrant she'll prove an excuse for the glass ! " 
1. 12. fantastical preferment, whimsical commendation or praise 
of the young lady. 

1. 15. a point of war, a military term, long since obsolete, for 
martial music ; a military air. The word point, as employed by 
musicians, is derived from the points or dots which formerly 
represented musical notes. Its use still survives in the word 

1. 19. parts, natural gifts or abilities. Compare "theporfoand 
merits of Sir Roger " (Spectator, No. 2) and Essay 20, p. 79, 1. 27 : 
" A coxcomb is a fool of parts, so is a flatterer a knave of ^ar^s." 

1. 21. JEsop's Fables ; ^sop or ^Esopus, a Phrygian who lived 
about the middle of the sixth century B.C. His place of birth, 
like that of Homer, is uncertain. He is commonly accepted as 
the originator of that particular form of moral tale which in all 
ages has proved most popular. He took up his residence at the 
court of the Lydian king, Croesus, where he made the acquaint 
ance of Solon. While on a visit to Athens during the rule of 
Pesistratus, he wrote his famous fable of Jupiter and the Frogs, as 
a warning to the citizens. 

1. 25. adventures of Don Belianis of Greece, etc. These 
stories and romances formed the chief literature of the poorer 
classes in England during the eighteenth century. They were 
published in single pamphlets of from sixteen to twenty- four 
pages, with rough woodcuts, and were known as ' chap-books,' 
so called because they were sold throughout the country by 
chapmen, or pedlars. They continued to be largely read until 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the Penny 
Magazine and Chambers' Tracts and Miscellanies killed them. 

1. 26. Guy of Warwick, the famous hero of Warwickshire, said to 
have lived in the reign of Athelstane. His so-called armour, 
of gigantic proportions, is still preserved in Warwick Castle. 

1. 28. forwardness, not, as now, an unpleasant obtrusiveness, 
but satisfactory progress in his studies. 

1. 32. John Hickerthrift, better known as Tom Hickathrift, 
and probably a real personage, was famous for his gigantic 
strength. His feats, which excited the astonishment of the 
people of Cambridge and Norfolk, are duly chronicled in a 
curious chap-book under the title of The Pleasant and Delightful 
History of Thomas Hickathrift. A large grave is still shown in 
Tilney churchyard, Norfolk, as the burial-place of this hero. 

12-16.] A VISIT TO A FRIEND. 89 

1. 33. Bevis of Southampton is stated in the chap-books to 
have lived in the reign of Edgar, and the scene of his heroic 
deeds is laid partly in England and partly in the Holy Land. 
St. George. It is impossible to say when St. George was adopted 
as the champion of England. The earliest record of his adven 
tures states that he was born in Cappadocia, in Asia Minor, and 
places the scenes of his well-known adventures in the East ; but 
the chap-book, in which Mr. Bickerstaff' s little friend delighted, 
gives the place of his birth as Coventry, and thus makes him an 

P. 13, 1. 9. conversation : the word was not employed in the 
eighteenth century in the restricted sense in which we now use it, 
but implied general intercourse and association with our fellow- 
creatures. Of. Locke On Education: "Conversation, when they 
(i.e. young people) come into the world, soon gives them a 
becoming assurance." 


P. 13, 1. 26. mountebanks, quacks, from Italian montambanco, 
i.e. one who mounts upon a bench to commend and sell his medi 
cines. Cf. Hamlet, iv. vii., where Laertes, in reference to his 
poisoned sword, says, " I bought an unction of a mountebank." 

P. 14, 1. 30. detraction, a prevalent habit of malicious gossip. 

1. 35. madam Depingle's, the house of a fashionable lady of 
Steele's day. 

P. 15, 1. 4. Pretty and Very Pretty Fellows, see Tatlers, Nos. 21 
and 24, where Steele had defined these varieties of fops and 
' ladies' men. ' 

1. 11. kit, a small fiddle ; from the Lat. cithara, a lyre or lute, 
a zither. 

1. 15. Isaac, a famous French dancing-master of Steele's day. 

" And /A'mr'.s rigadoon shall live as long 
As Raphael's painting, or as Virgil's song." 

1. 27. rigadoon, a lively and fashionable dance of the period, 
performed by two persons ; it was introduced from the south of 
France. The word is etymologically connected with the English 
rig, lively. 

P. 16, 1. 6. hective, heated, feverish. 

1. 0. village of Chelsea, formerly a village about two miles from 
London, situated to the west of the city and on the river bank ; 
famous for the Hospital for old soldiers founded by Charles II. 
The name may possibly be derived from Chexd (as in Chesil 
Beach), a strand formed of pebbles cast up by the sea, and cy, an 


island. Sir Thomas More, who lived here in the fifteenth cen 
tury, spelled the name as ChdcJiith. 

1. 15. the five fields, formerly a rural district west of London, in 
fested until the beginning of this century with footpads and robbers ; 
upon which Eaton and Belgrave Squares are now built. It adjoins 
Hyde Park, and is now the fashionable locality known as Belgravia. 

1. 16. the coffee-house where the Literati, etc., see note below, 
1. 23. 

1. 1 7. Mr. Justice Overdo, a character in Ben Jonson's play of 
Bartholomew Fair. The incident referred to is the amusing one 
in Act ii., sc. i. , where Overdo goes disguised to the Fair to 
detect crime on his own account, and is subsequently mistaken 
for a cut-purse, and unmercifully beaten. 

1. 19. incognito, disguised, unrecognized ; an Italian word, 
from Lat. incognitus, unknown. 

1. 23. the coffee-house : the famous coffee-house opened in 1690 
at Chelsea, and known as Don Saltero's. The proprietor was a 
man named Salter, humorously called Don Saltero, who, in order 
to attract guests, had converted his house into a museum. He had 
been a servant to Sir Hans Soane, founder of the museum still 
existing in Lincoln's Inn Fields, who had presented Salter with 
a number of curiosities from his surplus collection. Salter 
was a barber, a dentist, and a performer on the fiddle, which 
facts will explain Steele's references below. (See note, p. 18, 1. 21.) 
The house was situated in Cheyne Walk, not far from that in 
which Carlyle lived in our time. Salter's curious collection was 
sold by auction in 1799. 

1. 25. gimcracks : the word originally meant a spruce, pert 
boy (gim, neat, crack, a young dandy), and subsequently anything 
showy, a toy (Century Dictionary). 

1. 30. Gingivistse, a humorous title for dentists, formed from 
the Latin gingiva, the gum. 

P. 17, 1. 8. Roger de Caubly, i.e. Sir Roger de Coverley. This 
very old and well-known dance tune is said to have been named 
after a knight who lived in the time of Richard I. , who is referred 
to by older writers as Roger of Caulverley. The employment of 
the name by Steele and Addison as that of the hero of the 
Spectator Club is well known. 

1. 10. " Christ Church Bells," the popular catch written by Dr. 
Aldrich, who was Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, when Steele 
was a student at that college. 

1. 14. The particularity, the particular qualities or peculiarities. 

1. 20. Vossius ; Isaac Vossius, a learned Dutchman of Leyden, 
who settled in England in 1670. Charles II. made him a Canon 
of Windsor, where he died in 1688, the year of Pope's birth. 


1. 21. comb his head in Iambics, i.e. with the rhythmical 
beat or movement of the iambic metre. 

1. 24. the barber in Don Quixote, Master Nicholas, the 
amusing character in Cervantes' work. See Don Quixote, chap. v. 

1. 27. John Tradescant, the Tradescants, father and son, both 
named John, were Dutch by descent. The elder Tradescant is 
supposed to have come to England about the end of Queen Eliza 
beth's reign. They were both industrious collectors of objects 
of natural history. Their collection was bequeathed to Isaac 
Ashmole, and formed the nucleus of the Askmolean Museum at 

1. 31. his Sclopeta and sword of Toledo, a sclopeta or sclopette 
(in old French escopetie), was a kind of hand-gun which came 
into use in the fourteenth century. It is said to have been 
especially used in later times by the Spaniards in their American 
conquests. Toledo was world-renowned in the Middle Ages for 
its sword-blades. 

P. 1 8, 1. 6. within three miles of Bedford. This district has 
long been famous for its manufacture of straw hats. 

1. 13. among his rarities. In the auction catalogue printed 
on the occasion of the sale of Salter's collection, among a host of 
other curious objects the following are noted : a petrified crab 
from China, Queen Katherine's wedding shoes, a starved swallow, 
William the Conqueror's family sword, Mary. Queen of Scot's 
pincushion, and serpents' tongues. 

1. 15. engine, a contrivance, instrument (Lat. inrjenium). 

1. 17. patent for making punch. Don Saltero was noted for 
his skill in mixing punch, a favourite drink of the eighteenth 
century, having been introduced by our navy from India towards 
the close of the seventeenth century. The earliest printed refer 
ence to it is in Fryer's Travels (1672), where the well-known 
derivation of the word from the Hindustani paunch, ' five ' (in 
reference to its Jive ingredients), is given. 

1. 18. muff. The muff, in Steele's day, was largely worn by 
men of fashion. Salter carried a grey muff, which he generally 
held across his face in winter as a characteristic affectation. 

1. 19. without his wife. This was a severe penalty for Salter, 
whose wife was a terrible shrew, and from whom he was glad to 
escape for a time. 

1. 21. this operator. Salter thus describes, in doggerel verse, 
his own accomplishments : 

' ' Through various employs I've passed, 
A scraper, virtuoso, projector, 
Tooth-drawer, trimmer, and at last 
I'm now a gimcrack whim collector." 



P. 19, 1. 14. observed the same hours, etc. See notes below, 
p. 20, 11. 29, 30. 

1. 23. The curfew, from Old French covrefeu, 'fire-cover,' an 
extinguisher employed in putting out the fires. It is often 
erroneously stated that the practice of putting out the house 
fires at a fixed hour was introduced by William the Conqueror. 
The custom probably prevailed in Saxon times, and certainly 
existed in nearly every European country in very early ages. It 
was a precautionary measure to ensure the personal safety of the 
citizen, by compelling him to keep indoors and go to bed im 
mediately after dark, at a period when police did not exist and 
robbers and assassins were numerous. In earlier times in Eng 
land the curfew bell was rung at seven o'clock ; but, later on, 
eight, and in some localities nine, were the hours. In Scotland 
ten o'clock was the customary hour. A bell was also rung in the 
morning as a signal for rising. At Ludlow, in Shropshire, this 
bell is still rung at six, and the curfew at nine. 

1. 28. crimp and basset. These were fashionable card games. 
Basset was an Italian game, introduced into France by Cardinal 
Mazarin in the time of Louis XIV., and thence brought to the 
court of Charles II. by some of the French ladies who came to 
England during that monarch's reign. 

P. 20, 1. 9. lady of quality. A lady of high social position. 

1. 12. bellman. A parish official, whose duty it was to act as 
inspector of the watchmen and awake the citizens in case of fire 
by ringing his hand-bell. By day he perambulated the town 
with his bell, advertising sales and giving notice of weddings, 
funerals, and other local events. The bellman was sometimes an 
original character, and adopted the practice of writing and pub 
lishing doggerel verses, which he distributed amongst the citizens 
at Christmas time, and for which he received gifts in return ; 
hence the phrase ' bellman's verse ' as equivalent to ' bad poetry.' 
Shakspere refers to this official in Macbeth, Act II., sc. ii. : 

" It was the owl that shrieked, 
The fatal bellman, which gives the sternest good-night." 

1. 13. watch, i.e. the watchmen. The first attempt to establish 
a regular system of night police was when Henry III., in 1253, 
instituted the night watchman, who continued in existence until 
1830, when Sir Robert Peel established the present metropolitan 
police. The old London watchman carried a cresset or iron cage 
fixed at the end of a pole, in which a piece of resin -soaked rope 
burned. In James I. 's time he was equipped with a horn lantern 
and a spear. As the watchmen were almost always old and 
decrepit, men their incompetency became proverbial, and they 


were the victims of endless practical jokes. In Hanoverian times 
they were called 'Charlies.' Shakspere gives us a delightfully 
amusing picture of their methods in the proceedings of Dogberry, 
Verges, and their associates in Much Ado About Nothing. 

1. 29. hours of colleges, these were the hours at which the 
people of the Tudor period ate their chief meals ; a period at 
which a number of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges were 
founded. In Norman times breakfast was at nine and dinner at 
eleven o'clock. 

1. 30. hours of the whole nation. In Steele's day the ordinary 
dinner-hour with people of good position was two o'clock, but 
the fashionable class was beginning to adopt three, four, and five 
as the hours ; and even seven was not considered too late. In 
the middle of the seventeenth century, to which period Isaac 
Bickerstajf's memory almost carries him, twelve was the time for 
dinner, and to this older custom he alludes in 11. 3 and 4, p. 21. 

1. 33. Westminster-hall, the great hall originally erected by 
William Rufus in 1097, and rebuilt by Richard II. in 1397 as the 
dining-hall of the royal palace of Westminster. The palace 
itself existed as early as the time of Canute, and was enlarged by 
subsequent kings, notably by Edward the Confessor and William 
the Conqueror. It was partly burned down on three occasions, 
in 1263, 1299, and in 1512, when it finally fell into ruins. The 
roof beams of the great hall, tradition says, are made of Irish 
oak brought from the woods of Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow. 

When William Rufus used to go to dinner in it, i.e. at eleven 
o'clock, the hour for dinner in Norman times. See note, 1. 29. 

P. 21, 1. 3. In my own memory. We must remember that 
Isaac. Bickerstajf, when The Tatler started, in 1709, is supposed 
to have been sixty-four years of age. 

1. 15. Lucian, a Greek satirist and wit of the second century 
after Christ. Steele's allusion is to a work of his known as 
Judicium Vocalium, in which he represents the encroachment of 
the letter T on other letters, chiefly on S, in such words as a-fjiJ&pov, 
-irpdaaw, CTVKOV, which afterwards came to be spelled Tr)fj.epov, 
TrpaTTu, TVKOV. Addison published a little work on these lines, 
The Humble Petition of ' Which' and ' What,' in which he repre 
sents these parts of speech as protesting against the encroachments 
of the relative that. 

1. 29. sea-coals, coals which have been carried by sea from the 
collieries, as all coal, when practicable, was in those days. So 
Mistress Quickly, in Shakspere's Henri/ IV., Part 2, Act n. i. 92, 
when claiming her money from Falstaff, says, " thou didst swear 
... sitting in my Dolphin-Chamber, at a round table, by a ,sea- 
coal fire." 

P. 22, 1. 7. implicit, implied. 



P. 23, 1. 3, sanguine, ruddy, florid. 

1. 4. diet-drink, i. e. the regimen which he, as a valetudinarian, 
followed, in drinking only stated quantities and at fixed hours. 

1. 12. Lady Dainty. See note, p. 27, 1. 9. 

1. 15. become her table, act in a becoming and genteel way at 
her dinner. 

1. 20. tubes, i.e. spy-glasses, a short form of telescope. Opera- 
glasses had not then, of course, been invented. 

1. 21. the pit. This part of the theatre had, in Steele's time, 
become, from being the cheapest and most unfashionable, a 
fashionable place. In the Elizabethan theatre there were no 
seats here, and it was frequented by the commonest people, to 
whom Hamlet alludes contemptuously as ' the groundlings. ' 

1. 25. prig, a pert, conceited coxcomb ; from A.S. priccian, to 
pick out, steal ; hence one who assumes a position to which he is 
not entitled, a pretender, upstart. 

1. 26. worn upon a button, suspended from a button of the coat 
by a silk cord passed through a hole near the handle of the cane. 

1. 29. a Gascon general. The people of Gascony are said to 
have been exceptionally boastful, and hence we get the word 
gasconnade, to boast, to brag. Readers of Dumas' novel, The 
Three Musketeers, will remember the boastful and quarrelsome 
character of D'Artagnan, the young Gascon soldier. 

1. 36. Before the limpers came in. All these fashionable affec 
tations have had their analogue in modern times, such as ' the 
Alexandra limp,' 'the Grecian bend,' and the affectation intro 
duced by the late Lord Randolph Churchhill of omitting to 
pronounce the final g in such words as singing, talking, etc. 

P. 24, 1. 11. Alexander the Great had a wry neck. See Plut 
arch's Life of Alexander: ''The statues that gave the best 
representation of Alexander's person were those of Lysippus (by 
whom alone he would suffer his image to be made), those pecu 
liarities which many of his friends used to affect to imitate, the 
inclination of his head a little on one side towards his left shoulder, 
and his melting eye, having been expressed by this artist with 
great exactness." 

1. 14. so over complaisantly, in so exaggerated a manner, in his 
efforts to please. 

1. 20. in his degrees of understanding, as far as his abilities 

1. 25. of the like turn, of the same character. 


1. 36. a very fearful complexion, a very timid nature or dis 
position ; complexion literally means an interweaving (Lat. con 
axid- plico), and hence, as applied to a man's nature or character, 
the result of the blending and intertwining of his characteristics 
and idiosyncrasies. The word is now generally restricted to the 
physical blendings of colour, texture, etc., which mark the hue 
and appearance of the face. 

P. 25, 1. 20. societies of ambitious young men, an ironical 
allusion to the bands of riotous young men, who by their 
blackguard conduct made the life of the London streets after 
dark, intolerable. Chief amongst them were the Mohocks, of 
which Steele gives a description in No. 324 of the Spectator. 

1. 24. blackening signposts, i.e. disfiguring the signboards of the 
tradesmen. Addison's first contribution to The Taller (No. 18) 
was a protest against the increase of signposts in the London 

1. 28. beaux esprits, wits, used ironically. 

1. 33. floor strewed with half-pence ; one of the pursuits of 
these fast and rowdy young men was the breaking of windows at 
night by flinging half-pence at them ; they were known as 
Nickers, and are referred to by Gay in his poem of Trivia : 
" His scattered pence the flying Nicker flings, 
And with the copper sliow'r the casement rings. " 


No. 7. 

P. 26. This very charming essay is one in which Steele appears 
as a man of ideas much in advance of the time, and to a certain 
extent he anticipates the suggestions of another century for a 
more sensible system in the education of women. 

1. 8. Enfleld-chase : Enfield, 11 miles north of the London 
General Post-Office. Here in after days Isaac D'Israeli was born, 
and Keats and Captain Marryat were educated. Charles and 
Mary Lamb lived here in 1829 in a house which the former 
describes as a " gambogish-coloured house at the Chase side." 
The word (cf. Hatfield Chase, Cannock Chase) in English 
place-names, recalls the time when the districts were forested 
and the game preserved. Enfield Chase was part of the Great 
Middlesex forest, fragments of which still survive in Hyde 
Park and High gate Woods. 

1. 9. a young lady, generally supposed to have been Elizabeth 
Malyn, who afterwards became Lady Cathcart, by her marri;ige 
with Lord Cathcart, her third husb;md. She subsequently 
married a Col. Maguire of Tempo, a place near Enniskillen. One 
of the conditions of this marriage was that she should not be 


asked to live in Ireland ; but her husband, under the pretence of 
taking her for a pleasure excursion in a boat, carried her to Tempo, 
where he kept her confined, and treated her barbarously, in order 
to secure a considerable property which she possessed. She 
obtained her liberty on the death of Col. Maguire. Her story 
has been embodied in Miss Edgeworth's novel, Castle Rackrent. 

1. 11. pad, a contraction for pad-nag, i.e. a small horse for the 
path or road. The word still survives in foot-pad, a robber on 
the high road. 

well-fancied furniture, i.e. tastefully designed trappings. 
So, in Hamlet, Polonius advises his son Laertes : ' ' costly thy 
habit as thy purse can buy, but not expressed in fancy,'' i.e. 
without judgment or taste. 

1. 22. Venus. The incident of Venus disguised as a Spartan 
huntress is told in the JEneid, Book I., line 315 and following 

1. 27. diverted, occupied. 

1. 29. people of condition, of good social position. 

P. 27, 1. 9. The Ladies Cure. A comedy written by Colley 
Gibber in the year 1707. Its full title is The Double Gallant : 
or the Sick Lady's Cure. The humour of the play turns on the 
successful efforts of her friends to cure the affectation of Lady 
Dainty, who considers it fashionable to cultivate delicacy, for 
as she says, " to be always in health is as vulgar as to be always 
in humour, and would equally betray one's want of wit and 
breeding." See reference to Lady Dainty, p. 23, 1. 12. 

1. 19. dispensary of a toilet, i.e. all the various scents and 
cosmetics which constituted the toilet requisites of a fashionable 
lady of Steele's time. Pope (Rape of the Lock, Canto I., 
11. 121-138) describes in humorous verses the toilet of Belinda, 
the heroine of the poem : 

" And now unveil'd the toilet stands display 'd, 
Each silver vase in mystic order laid. 

This casket India's glowing gems unlocks 
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box. 
The Tortoise here and Elephant unite, 
Transform'd to combs the speckled and the white ; 
Here files of pins, extend their shining rows, 
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux." 

1. 26. becoming negligence in her dress : cf, Herrick, The 
Poetry of Dress : 

" A sweet disorder in the dress 
Kindles in clothes a wantonness." 

P. 28, 1. 10. spleen, melancholy, depression of spirits. The 


vapours, humours, and spleen were little ailments from which the 
fashionable people of the time appear to have suffered much, to 
judge from the constant references to them in eighteenth century 
literature, and were chiefly traceable to the idleness inseparable 
from fashionable leisure. The word spleen is from the Greek 
<nr\rjv (pronounced splen), a small gland which according to 
ancient belief was the seat of melancholy. 

1. 17. notable woman, one skilled in household matters. The 
word is pronounced with a short o sound. 

1. 35. oaf, a fool, a simpleton. The word is a form of elf. 
Chaucer speaks of a simple person as being elvish. Cf. Gold 
smith, She Stoops to Conquer: "You great ill-fashioned oaf, 
with scarce sense enough to keep your mouth shut. " 

P. 29, 1. 9. a Female Library. In the year 1714 Steele actually 
carried out this project in publishing a book in three volumes, 
entitled The Ladies' Library. It consists of a series of selections 
from the works of various religious and educational writers, 
such as Jeremy Taylor, Tillotson, and Locke. To each of the 
volumes he prefixed a dedication, and throughout the work 
introduced explanatory notes. The third volume is dedicated to 
his wife in a very interesting and noble preface. The sources of 
the materials are not acknowledged, but have since been traced, 
with few exceptions. 

1. 14. impertinent, unseemly. See note p. 3, 1. 13. 


P. 30, 1. 9. infect, i.e. affect harmfully, spoil, destroy. 

1. 10. cast, tinge, shade of colour. Cf. Hamlet, m. i. : "The 
native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of 

water, the lustre of a diamond. 

1. 11. ladies in mourning. The English court went into 
mourning at this time for Louis, the son of the Dauphin, who 
died March 3, 1710. 

P. 31, 1. 9. flowered stomacher, a wide embroidered belt. 
furbelow, a flounce. The origin of the word is unknown, 
but it appears in Spanish and Italian as/ar&e/a, of which our 
word would appear to be a corruption. The ladies' dresses of 
the period were flounced to the waist. 

1. 23. tippet, a band of cloth or fur for the neck. 

1. 24. farthingale, a petticoat extended by hoops. The word 
is a corruption of the Old French rerdugal/e, from the Spanish 
lerdurjo, a young shoot or rod, which might be bent easily to 


form a hoop. Sir Roger de Coverley (Spectator, No. 109), allud 
ing to this extraordinary fashion, says: "My grandmother 
appears as if she stood in a large drum. " 

1. 27. toy-shop, where knick-knacks were sold, as in the shops 
of Charles Lillie and Charles Mathers, referred to in Essay No. 
13. See note, p. 50, 11. 23, 26. 

P. 32, 1. 3. shoulder-knot, a fashion first adopted by men in 
the time of Charles II., consisting of a bunch of ribbons or lace 
worn on the shoulder. 

1. 5. fringed gloves, i.e. with silver fringe round the wrists of 
the gloves. 

1. 7. open waistcoat. See note on p. u, 1. 35. 

1. 9. A Grecian hero. The reference is to Themistocles, who, 
when a boy, refused to learn any accomplishments. When, in 
after years, he was asked whether he could play on the lute, he 
retorted "that he certainly could not make use of any stringed 
instrument, but could only, were a small city put into his hands, 
make it great and glorious" (Plutarch's Life, of Themistocles, 
Dryden's Trans.). 

1. 9. a pair of red heels, a reference to the fashion of having 
shoes made with crimson-coloured heels. 

1. 19. gewgaws, toys, playthings. The word is etymologically 
connected with give, and is a reduplicated form of the A.-S. gifu, 
a gift (Skeat). 

1. 35. sarsenet or sarcenet, a kind of thin silk of Eastern origin, 
so called from the Saracens, the old name for the people of the 
Eastern Mediterranean. 

P. 33, 1. 1. latter spring. This expression occurs in Henry 
IV., Part 1, i. ii., where Prince Hal, addressing Falstaff, says : 

" Farewell, thou latter spring! farewell, All-hallow'n summer !" 

1. 2. a colt's tooth in her head, i.e. in her old age she again 
acquired a taste for youthful pleasures. Thus we speak of a 
person fond of sweetmeats as having a sweet tooth. 

1. 10. Eutrapelus, a character in Horace's Epistles (i. 18) : 
" There was one Eutrapelus, who, if he wanted to do a man a 
mischief, would send him costly dresses ; for he knew that the 
silly, happy fool would, with new dresses, assume forthwith new 
notions and new hopes. " 

1. 14. simplex munditiis. See Horace, Odes, Bk. i. 5, where 
the poet asks Pyrrha, one of his old loves : ' ' GUI flavam relic/as 
comam, simplex munditiis ?" ' Who now will bind thy golden 
locks neat and elegant without the aid of art or effort ? ' The 

Ehrase is difficult to render in English, which Milton, who trans 
ited this ode, gives as ' plain in thy neatness. ' 



P. 33, 1. 24. easy ... companions, such as demand no mental effort 
in the entertaining of them. 

P. 34, 1. 1. preparative, preparation. 

1. 2. abstractions, the higher regions of thought. 
traces, tracts, paths. 

1. 10. the Trumpet, the well-known Trumpet Tavern, in Shire 
Lane, Fleet Street. The place was originally a coffee-house, The 
Cat and Fiddle, kept by one Christopher Katt, a pastry-cook. 
Here the famous Kit-Kat Club held its meetings, having acquired 
its title from a humorous distortion of the proprietor's name. 
It was subsequently changed to Duke of York Tavern. 

1. 15. in arbitrary times, during the troubled period of the 
latter portion of the seventeenth century, associated with the 
change from the Stuart to the Orange dynasty. 

1. 29. run it out, i.e. ran through his fortune by indulging his 
taste for hunting and cock-fighting. 

1. 36. Marston Moor, fought July 4, 1644, when the Parliamentary 
army, under Cromwell, defeated the Royalists, commanded by the 
Marquis of Newcastle and Prince Rupert. At this time there 
were many noisy frequenters of the coffee-houses who claimed to 
have fought in the Civil Wars. They were known as " Rufflers." 

P. 35, 1. 1. rising of the London apprentices. This event 
occurred in 1647, when they forced their way into the House 
of Commons with a petition for redress of grievances. These 
apprentices were the boys and young men in the employ of the 
great London commercial companies, such as the Fishmongers, 
Goldsmiths, Haberdashers, etc., which sprang into existence in 
the reign of Elizabeth. In early Elizabethan days the appren 
tices were distinguished by wearing "blue cloaks in summer, 
and blue gowns in winter, with breeches and stockings of white 
broad cloth and flat hats" (Stow, Survey of London). They 
entered upon their apprenticeship at the age of fourteen, having 
previously received their education at the free schools of the 
Companies, and were for the rest of their lives looked after by 
their employers. For an interesting account of the London 
apprentices in the time of James I., see Scott's Fortunes ofXi<i<l, 
and as an illustration of their power in the cities, the historical 
action of the apprentices at the Siege of Derry will readily 

1. 13. bencher of a neighbouring inn, a senior member of an 
Inn of Court, such as Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn, London, and 
King's Inn, Dublin. The benchers of an Inn of Court make all 
the necessary regulations for the government of the body to 


which they belong, and have the power to admit to the Bar. 
The title of Bencher is derived from the raised benches upon 
which they sit in Hall. 

1. 14. ordinaries, taverns where a regular meal or table d'hdte 
was served at an ordinary or customary hour. The word was 
originally applied to the meal itself ; e.g. Tatler No. 135 : 
"When I was a young man about this town, I frequented the 
ordinary of the Black Horse in Holborn." 

Charing Cross. This locality preserves in its name the memory 
of the old village of Charryng, a word which some derive from 
A.-S. cerran, to turn (from its situation at the tumor bend of th3 
Thames), and others consider to be a corruption of la chere 
Reim, the village of the Blessed Virgin. The present cross was 
erected in 1865 in place of the original one, placed there by 
Edward I. in 1290, and destroyed by the Puritans in 1647. The 
original cross marked the spot where the body of Queen Eleanor 
rested for the fifteenth and last time during its progress from 
Hornby, near Lincoln, where she had died, to Westminster 
Abbey, each resting-place having been sanctified by a similar 

1. 15. Jack Ogle, a noted duellist and gambler. It is told of 
him that on one occasion he lost his military cloak, having staked 
it at play, and that he actually appeared on the parade ground, 
when his troop was mustered, with his landlady's red flannel 
petticoat as a substitute. This incident is referred to below, 
p. 36, 1. 2. 

ten distichs of Hudibras, i.e. ten couplets from the famous 
mock-heroic poem written by Samuel Butler (1612-1680) as a 
satire upon the sects of the Presbyterians and Independents 
amongst the Parliamentary party during the civil wars. It was 
a favourite poem with Charles II. A distich is a verse of two 

1. 21. I am something respected, I am somewhat, or to a 
certain extent, respected. 

1. 32. battle of Naseby, fought June 14, 1645, when the 
Royalists, commanded by Charles I. and Prince Rupert, were 
defeated by the Parliamentarians under Cromwell and Fairfax. 

1. 36. introduce the couplet, etc. The verse referred to is the 
well-known one in Hudibras, Part I. , Canto i. , 1. 11: 
" And Pulpit, Drum Ecclesiastic, 
Was beat with fist, instead of a Stick," 

in which Butler describes the noisy preachers amongst the Parlia 
mentary party. 

P. 36, 1. 2. red petticoat and a cloak. See note, p. 35, 1. 15. 


1. 8. to be obliged by those, etc., to consider myself as under 
an obligation to those who endeavour to oblige me, to be indebted 
to ; cf . " to those hills we are obliged for all our metals " (Bentley). 

1. 18. Edge-hill fight, the indecisive battle of Edgehill, near 
Kineton, Warwickshire, fought October 23, 1642, between the 
Royalists and Parliamentarians. 

1.26. my maid came with a lantern. This proceeding was very 
necessary in the days of Mr. Bickerstajf, as no effective method 
of lighting the streets had been devised ; a few miserable oil 
lamps, at considerable distances apart, were all that the citizens 
of London had to rely on for guidance through the ill-paved 
streets, then infested by highwaymen. In the year 1736 one 
thousand street lamps alone supplied the public with light over 
the whole of London. We must also remember that there was 
no systematic scavenging of the streets, and so heaps of refuse 
and pools of stagnant water constituted serious dangers to the 

1. 30. venerable, respected. 

1. 35. a long Canterbury Tale, i.e. a tale as long as one of those 

told by a pilgrim in Geoffrey Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales. 

P. 37, 1. 5. magazine, a store-house. Addison, in reference to 

Westminster Abbey, speaks of it as " this great magazine of 

mortality " (Spectator No. 26). 

1. 14. Nestor was King of Pylos and Messenia, and one of the 
heroes of the Trojan War. Homer describes him as the greatest 
of the generals of that struggle. He lived to be ninety years of 
age, and was famous and respected for the wisdom which a life 
of wide experience had given him. Pope translates the lines of 
Homer in which the eloquence of Nestor is described, thus : 
" Experienc'd Nestor, in persuasion skill'd, 
Words sweet as honey from his lips distill *d." 

Pope's Homer, Book I. 

1. 19. an eloquent spirit. This is a reference to Milton's lines 
descriptive of the fallen angel Belial ( Paradise Lost, Bk. n. , 1. 112): 

"His tongue 

Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear 
The better reason, to perplex and dash 
Maturest counsels." 


P. 37, 1. 29. Cheapside, known as ' Chepe ' in earlier days, the 
main thoroughfare between St. Paul's Cathedral and the Bank of 
England ; so called from the great cheap (A.-S. cedpian, ' to buy') 


or market established in this district in very early times. So far 
back as the fourteenth century it was a recognized place of trade, 
for John Lydgate, the monk of Bury, in his curious work, 
The. London Lickpenny, describes, when on a visit to London, 

" Then to the Chepe I began me drawne 
Where moch people I saw for to stand. 
One offred me velvet, sylke, and lawne ; 
An other he taketh me by the hande, 
* Here is Parys thread, the finest in the land. ' " 
In this street stood the famous Mermaid Tavern in which Shak- 
spere, Ben Jonson, Sir Walter Raleigh, and others, met as 
members of a club which they had established in 1603. 

1. 30. The Bank, i.e. the Bank of England in Threadneedle St., 
humorously known as 'the Old Lady of Threadneedle St.' 
This, the largest establishment of its kind in the world, was 
founded in 1694, on a plan projected by Mr. Patterson, a Scotch 

P. 38, 1. 1. the new-erected lottery, i.e. the first State lottery 
of the year 1710. Steele, in two other Tatlers (Nos. 170 and 
203), gives full details of the public lotteries of the time, and 
Addison (Spectator No. 191) gives a very amusing account of the 
incidents of one. These should be read in this connection. The 
first State lottery was established by Queen Elizabeth in 1567, 
with the object of raising money for the construction of harbours 
and other piiblic works, when the shares were ten shillings each, 
and the prizes of various kinds, such as "money, plate, and 
certain sorts of merchandise." The spirit of gambling was so 
encouraged by this device that at last the Government abolished 
them in 1826. They still exist in some Continental countries. 

1. 2. our present government and administration. The Whigs, 
headed by the Duke of Marlborough and Lord Godolphin, were 
in office in January, 1710, when this Essay was written. In 
February the trial of Dr. Sacheverell (see Essay 13 and Notes) 
for his attack upon the Government took place, and in August 
Godolphin was compelled to resign. 

1. 10. burden of the war, i.e. the War of the Spanish Succession, 
in which the Allies, viz. , the Emperor, the States of Holland, and 
England, united to check the ambition of Louis XIV. of France. 
The war closed with the Peace of Utrecht in 1713. 

1. 16. lay in my pretences, etc., i.e. if I did not stake some 
thing when claiming her favour ; lay = to stake. 

1. 17. recommending 1 , entrusting. 

1. 19. globes and a telescope, instruments which Isaac Sicker- 
staff, as an astrologer, would naturally possess. See note, 
Essay I. , p. 4, 1. 3. 

37-40.] ON THE LOTTERY. 103 

1. 22. an hundred and fifty thousand to one. The conditions 
of this State Lottery of 1710, known as ' the Million Lottery,' 
were as follows : tickets to the number of 150,000 were issued at 
10 each ; every purchaser was entitled to nine per. cent, per 
annum for 32 years, in addition to his chance of one of the 3750 
prizes, varying from 1000 to 5. Even those who were 
unsuccessful received 14/- per annum for 32 years for each blank 
drawn. This will explain Isaac Bicker staff ' s calculations, and the 
allusion, p. 39, 1. 15, to the settlement of 14/- per annum on his 

1. 24. plumb, now generally spelled plum, a sum of 100,000; 
the expression is here equivalent to ' wealthy man. ' The origin 
of the word is unknown. 

1. 29. Mr. Morphew, at whose shop near Stationers' Hall The 
Tatler was sold, and who received advertisements for insertion 
in the paper. 

to subscribe such a policy, i.e. to sign such an undertaking or 

1. 32. twinkling of a ... star. See note, p. 4, 1. 3. 

1. 36. Seneca ; Lucius Annasus Seneca, the Latin philosophic 
writer, who was born at Cordova early in the first century of the 
Christian era. He was for four years preceptor to Nero, but his 
good advice failed in the case of that infamous man. Having 
fallen under the suspicion of the emperor, he was commanded to 
destroy himself, which he proceeded to do by opening a vein ; 
this method failing, he drank a dose of poison, but that too 
failing, he was suffocated. 

P. 39, 1. 10. Palatines, the name given to the German settlers 
in England. 

1. 14. revenue arising out of the ten pounds, the price of one 
share in the lottery. See note, p. 38, 1. 22. 

1. 24. furnish out, supply. See Hamlet, Act i., scene ii., 180 : 
" . . . the funeral baked meats 
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage table." 

1. 26. Several in liveries, i.e. servants. 

' 1. 27. who will give as good of their own very suddenly, i.e. 
who will be in position to give estates away by their sudden 
acquisition of wealth. 

1. 31. my art, my skill as an astrologer. See Essay 1, Note, 
p. 4, 1. 3. 

ten months, the time which would elapse before the drawing 
of the lottery, which took place at Michaelmas, 1710, this Essay 
being dated in January of that year. 

P. 40, 1. 5. proper, suitable. 


1. 9. penny lottery: this lottery was drawn in 1699, when 
tickets at one penny each were issued for a single prize of 
1000. The drawing took place at the Theatre Royal in Dorset 

1. 26. allow, admit, acknowledge. Cf. Pope, Essay on 
Criticism ; 

" The power of music all our hearts allow, 
And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now." 

P. 41, 1. 2. Mr. Partridge, the almanac maker, whose death did 
not actually occur until 1714. This reference to his being 'dead 
and buried ' is but to keep up the jest originated by Dean Swift. 
See Introduction. 

1. 14. arise, give rise to, produce. 


P. 42, 1. 20. A duel. This essay is the first of seven contribu 
tions to The Tatler, in which Steele showed his true manliness in 
protesting against the prevailing custom of deciding quarrels by 
having recourse to sword or pistol. It is known that in early 
life, probably while in the army, Steele, after every honourable 
effort to avoid it, fought a duel, in which he had the misfortune 
dangerously to wound a young man who had challenged him. 
From that time out he seized every opportunity to denounce the 
practice. The other six essays on this subject are Tatlers Nos. 
26, 28, 29, 31, 38, and 39. 

1. 24. from hence, i.e. from White's Chocolate-House. See 
note p. 2, 1. 3. 

1. 27. chimerical, imaginary, and hence wild ; from the Greek 
xi/j.cupa (chirnsera), a she-goat. The Chimsera was an imaginary 
monster, with the body of a goat, the fore part of a lion, and the 
hinder part of a dragon, destroyed by the hero Bellerophon 
mounted on the winged horse Pegasus. 

1. 29. pretences, claims. 

P. 43, 1. 6. rapier, a long, light sword. 

1. 25. denominates, marks, or is characteristic of. 

1. 26. a common sharper. The coffee-houses and taverns of 
the eighteenth century were infested with swindlers, whom the 
prevalent habit of gambling attracted to these haunts. There are 
constant allusions in the literature of the time to these gentry 
under the slang names of Rooks, Pads, Huffs, Rufflers, etc. 

1. 35. hereafter consider, etc. Steele does not appear to have 
fulfilled this intention. 

4046.] ON DUELLING. 105 

P. 44, 1. 3. imposture, something imposed or thrust upon us. 

1. 8. proper cuts, suitable illustrations. 

1. 22, Hyde-park, one of the great London parks. The origin 
of the name carries us back to very early times. There were 
two ancient manors, known as Neyte and Hyde, attached as 
lands to the Abbey of Westminster, which, after the dissolution 
of the monasteries, in the reign of Henry VIII., became Crown 
lands. The present Hyde Park represents the latter of these 
manors ; the neighbouring Knightsbridge is a corruption of 
Neytesbridge. Hyde Park is a portion of the great Middlesex 


P. 45, 1. 5. "The Art of Living and Dying," an allusion to 
Jeremy Taylor's works on Holy Living and Holy Dying. Taylor, 
afterwards Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, and Vice- 
Chancellor of the University of Dublin, was the son of a barber 
in Cambridge, and was born in 1613. He was educated in the 
Grammar School and afterwards in Caius College, where he was 
a contemporary of Milton, George Herbert, Edmund Waller, 
and Thomas Fuller. 

1. 7. pretensions, claims. 

1. 21. their parts, i.e. the parts they play in the drama of life. 
This comparison of man's life with the play upon the stage is 
common with writers, the well-known speech of the melancholy 
Jaques, beginning: " All the world's a stage, and all the men 
and women merely players " (As You Like It, u. vi. 142) being 
a case in point. 

1. 25. coxcombs. The word is a corruption of cock's comb, which 
the professional fool was accustomed to wear in his cap, and 
hence the word was applied to a conceited dunce (Century 

P. 46, 1. 2. Sam Trusty. Under this name Steele is supposed 
to allude to a certain intimate friend of his, one Jabez Hughes, 
whose "brother, John Hughes, is said to have been the author of 
several letters in The Taller, notably one in No. 73 signed Will 

1. 8. dotard, an old man imbecile through age ; from the 
French radoter, to rave, wander in mind. The termination -ard 
is characteristic of a series of similar words, invariably employed 
in a contemptuous sense, such as coward, sluggard, wizard, etc. 

1.10. ' after-life. ' Isaac Bickerstaff employs this- phrase in the 
sense of the latter years of life after youth is passed. In No. 
306 of The Spectator, a young lady who has been disfigured by 


small-pox writes deploring her fate, and says : " Consider the 
woman I was did not die of old age, but I was taken off in the 
prime of youth, and according to the course of nature may have 
forty years after-life, to come." 

1. 20. in her teens, the years of life from thirteen to nineteen 
inclusive, so called from the termination -teen in these words. 

1. 21. cronies, old gossiping women. The word is formed 
from the Celtic crone, an old woman, and that again is from the 
Irish word crion, withered, old (Skeat). 

1. 23. genius, disposition, character. In the expression ' evil 
genius,' a few lines below, the word is employed in the sense of 
a spirit. 

1. 33. to be denied, i.e. that admission should be denied or 
refused to visitors, she being 'not at home' to friends at that 

1. 34. the black boy. The employment of negroes as servants 
was at this time common in England. We must remember that 
slavery still existed, and that not until the year 1772 was the 
sale of a negro made illegal. It is therefore not surprising to 
find the following among the advertisements in the Tatler : "A 
black Indian boy, twelve years of age, fit to wait on a gentle 
man, to be disposed of at Dennis's Coffee-house, in Finch Lane, 
near the Royal Exchange." There is an interesting letter, pur 
porting to have been written by a black boy, in Tatler No. 245 

P. 47, 1. 2. indented, irregular. 

1. 14. hugely, greatly. In Spectator No. 108, Will Wimble, 
writing to Sir Roger de Coverley, describes how Sir John 
Wimble's eldest son, at school at Eton, ' ' takes to his learning 

1. 17. opera-night. See note, p. 57, 1. 35. 

1. 23. Brazen Nose, now spelled 'Brasenose,' the Oxford 
College, founded in 1509. The popular derivation of the name 
connects it with the beak-shaped brazen knocker over the main 
entrance, but it probably gains its title from the Hall of the 
College having been originally a brew-house, and the word a 
corruption of bracinum-house, from Latin bracinum, malt. 

1. 28. shock dog, a rough coated dog. The word shock is ety- 
mologically connected with shaggy. In Pope's Rape, of the, Lock, 
Shock is the name of Belinda's dog : 

" . . . when Shock, who thought she slept too long, 

Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue." 
The word was also spelled shouyh, as in Macbeth, in. i. 94 : 
" shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves." 

1. 31. mantel-tree, the beam which supports the brick-work 


above a fire-place, and projects, forming a mantel or covering 
over the grate ; tree, in older English, had the meaning of 
wood, timber. 

1. 32. lambetive electuary, a compound of honey, sugar, and 
other sweet substances, in which medicines could be concealed, 
made palatable, and thus licked up, without being detected. 
Lambative or lambetive is from the Lat. lambo, to lick, and 
c/t'cf'iiary, from the Greek exAei'xw (pron. ekliko), to lick up; the 
phrase is therefore redundant. 

1. 33. stick of liquorice, used for the relief of coughs and colds, 
or for the removal of the unpleasant taste of medicines from 
the mouth. Liquorice, or more correctly licorice, is prepared from 
the juice of a leguminous plant largely grown on the Continent, 
especially in Spain. It is also cultivated in one or two English 
localities, particularly at Pontefract in Yorkshire, which is an 
important centre for the importation and manufacture of licorice, 
whence it gets its name of 'Pomfret cake.' The word is derived 
from the Greek J\VKVS (pron. glukus), sweet, and pifa (pron. riza), 
root. The roots are first crushed in mills and then boiled, and 
after evaporation the thick, sweet, and somewhat astringent 
residuum is manufactured into the well-known substance. 

1. 34. powder of tutty. Tutty is an impure oxide of zinc, 
collected from the chimneys of smelting furnaces and used medi 
cinally in soothing irritated or raw surfaces on the flesh. The 
word is etymologically connected with the French toucher, to 
touch or paint over. 

a pipe filled with betony and colt's-foot. These herbs were 
smoked, betony as a cure for headache and colt's-foot as a 
specific for coughs. Betony is a woodland plant common in some 
parts of England, but rare in Ireland. Colt's-foot is the well- 
known, yellow-flowered, large-leaved plant. The botanical 
name, tussilago, for the latter, points to its use ; from Lat. tussis, 
a cough. 
1. 35. roll of wax-candle, i.e. a roll of wax taper. 

P. 48, 1. 7. in a trice, instantly ; a corruption of the Spanish 
phrase, en un tris, in the brief moment occupied in snapping a 
piece of glass (Skeat) ; commonly derived from the English thrice, 
i.e. while one would count three. 

1. 15. sheers, scissors. 

1. 18. bob-wig, a short wig, having the ends of the hairs turned 
up into short curls or 1><>1>*. 

1. 19. sea-coal fire. See note, p. 21, 1. 29. 

1. 31. the Hungary water, a perfume composed principally of 
spirits of wine, rosemary, and lavender, and supposed to have 
healing properties when used as an embrocation. 


1. 32. goldbeaters' skin, a thin membrane obtained from the 
outer skin of the intestines of the larger animals, and employed 
by gold-beaters to cover the leaves of gold in the final stage of 
the process of gold-beating. 

P. 49, 1. 2. make him compliments of condolence, offer him 
expressions of sympathy. 


No. 13. 

P. 49, 1. 9. still interrupted, constantly interrupted. 

" And still they dream that they shall still succeed, 
And still are disappointed." Coirper. 

1. 11. cavalier Nicolini, a famous Italian opera singer, whose 
proper name was Nicolino Grimaldi. He came to England in 
1708, and sang first in the opera of Camilla. He enjoyed the 
friendship of Addison and Steele : the latter gives him much 
praise both as an actor and a singer (Tatler No. 115). He 
appears to have been a man of high and generous character, as 
one would expect a friend of Steele and of Addison to have been. 

1. 13. to put off his day, etc., i.e. to postpone the day upon 
which he next sings in opera, to enable them (the ladies) " to 
employ their time in the care of the nation " by regularly 
attending the trial of Dr. Sacheverell. 

1. 16. this day sevennight, the trial had been in progress for 
over a week. See following note. 

1. 17. This great occasion, the occasion of the famous Sach 
everell trial, which commenced on February 27th, and closed 
March 23rd, 1710. Dr. Sacheverell was rector of St. Saviour's 
Church, Southwark, and having been appointed to preach before 
the Lord Mayor in St. Paul's Cathedral, he seized the oppor 
tunity to make a violent attack upon Lord Godolphin and the 
Government then in power. He was consequently impeached 
and brought to trial before the peers in Westminster Hall, and 
finally suspended from preaching for three years, his sermon 
being burned by the common hangman. Popular feeling was 
entirely in sympathy with Sacheverell, and the Government was 
shortly afterwards compelled to resign. 

1. 18. of high moment, of great importance. 

1. 19. toast, a reigning beauty. See note, p. 12, 1. 11. 

1. 22. ancient hours of eating. See notes, Essay 5, p. 20, 
11. 29, 30, 33. 


1. 29. that awful court, i.e. the House of Lords sitting in 
Westminster Hall ; awful, imposing, impressive. 

P. 50, 1. 2. Westminster-Hall a dining-room. The spectators 
at the Sacheverell trial brought their luncheons with them, and 
so were able to retain their places throughout the day. The 
same custom prevailed during the still more famous trial of 
Warren Hastings in the same Hall nearly sixty years later. 

1. 4. spleen and vapour. See note, p. 28, 1. 10. 

1. 12. virtuoso, properly one devoted to the fine arts ; here 
applied to a seller of fine art objects. 

1. 20. Nando's, a coffee-house in Fleet Street. The house was 
an old one, having been erected in the time of James I. 

1. 23. Charles Lillie, a well-known toyman and vendor of art 
objects and bric-a-brac. 

1. 26. his name-sake, Charles Mathers, another well-known 
toyman, who had his shop next door to Nando's, at the Inner 
Temple Gate, Fleet Street. 

1. 28. a commonwealth, a community. 

1. 33. particular, peculiar, exceptional. 

P. 51,1. 10. utensil, formerly any implement or tool ; now 
limited in application to vessels, such as kitchen utensils, etc. ; 
from Lat. utor, to use. 

1. 11. furnish out, supply, provide. 

1. 14. Imprimis, in the first place, first of all. 

1. 15. contrived, designed, planned. 

1. 16. goldsmiths' notes, receipts for money lent on interest to 
the Goldsmiths, who from the year 1386, and for many centuries, 
were the chief bankers of London ; these receipts became in time 
negotiable as bank-notes. The custom of issuing receipts as 
bank-notes was common amongst the bankers of the eighteenth 

1. 19. nice, elegant, chaste, dainty. The word in Old English 
had originally the force of ignorant, weak, foolish, and thus 
Chaucer employs it: "But say that we ben wise and nothing 
nice." It then acquired the meaning of trivial, slight, unim 
portant, and so Shakspere (Romeo and Juliet) says: "The 
letter was not nice, but full of charge, of dear import"; and 
subsequently, through a series of changes, eventually came to 
mean fastidious, exacting, discriminating, as applied to a person, 
and choice, select, elegant, as applied to things. 

1. 21. curiously fancied, carefully and elegantly designed. 
Curious formerly meant careful : "We all should be curious and 
watchful against vanities" (Jeremy Taylor). 

1. 22. of great use to encourage, etc., the fact of possessing 


such elegant seals would induce young gentlemen to write more 
frequently, so as to have the pleasure of using them ; this would 
naturally lead to an improvement in their hand-writing. 

1. 29. fusee, a kind of light musket ; the word was otherwise 
spelled fusil, and in this form still exists in fusileers and 

1. 31. tweezer-cases. A tweezer-case was a small pocket-case 
containing pen-knives, scissors, and various every-day requisites. 
A surgeon's case of instruments was formerly known as a tweese, 
the word being a corruption of the French etui, a case of instru 
ments ; then the instruments themselves came to be called 

P. 52, 1. 3. clouded. Malacca canes were artificially coloured, 
and the process was known as ' clouding. ' 
well made up, handsomely mounted. 

I. 18. overseen, mistaken, deceived : 

" Yet reason tells us parents are o'erseen, 
When with too strict a rein they do hold in 
Their child's affections. " Jeremy Taylor. 

II. 18, 19. Jambee ... Dragon. These were names for special 
kinds of walking-sticks. A Jambee was a stick made from the 
young sucker of the bamboo, while a Dragon was a small malacca 
cane of a deep red colour (Dobson). 

1. 32. came out, i.e. came into fashion. 

1. 36. box set with diamonds, i.e. a snuff-box which he might 
display in church. 


P. 53, 1. 7. Boccalini, an Italian lawyer and politician, born 
at Loreto in 1556. He is best known as a satirical writer, and 
chiefly by his work, News from Parnassus, to which Steele here 
alludes. His writings were principally attacks upon Spain, 
which in his day was the dominant power in Europe : he died in 

laconic, brief, pithy, sententious. The Laconians or Spartans 
were noted for their brief manner of speech, and hence the word. 

1. 10. Guicciardini, an Italian politician and historian, born at 
Florence in 1482. He was the political servant of several 
successive members of the Medici family, and when he retired 
from public life, devoted his remaining years to the writing of a 
history of his own times. The work is remarkable for its 
wearisome prolixity, extending, as it does, through twenty 
volumes. There is a humorous story told by Lord Macaulay in 


his Essay on Burleigh, of a criminal in Italy who was given a 
choice of punishment between the galleys or the reading of 
Guicciardini's History ; he chose the latter, but had to give up 
in despair, and so went patiently to the galleys. 

1. 12. doctor Donne ; this reference occurs in one of Donne's 
Sermons fii. 239). Dr. John Donne (1573-1631) a poet and divine 
of James I.'s reign. His boyhood was noted for its extraordinary 
precocity. He entered the University of Oxford when only ten 
years of age. He is best remembered for his Satires, and for the 
far-fetched thoughts and quaint fantastic language of his writings, 
which have entitled him to be considered the founder of the 
school of English satirists and so-called metaphysical poets. 

1. 29. Baker's "Chronicle." Readers of the Spectator will re 
member that this work was a favourite one with Sir Roger de 
Coverley (Spectator No. 269). Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle 
of the Kings of England from the Times of the Romans Government 
unto the death of King James was published in 1641. 

P. 54, 1. 2. two ancient authors. It is impossible to say 
definitely to which two Steele's quotation refers. The contrast 
might suggest Livy and Tacitus or Herodotus and Thucydides. 

1. 24. humdrum, droning, long-winded ; from hum, a dull 
noise, and drum, a droning noise (Skeat). 

1 32. Mr. Humphry Wagstaff. This is supposed to be a refer 
ence to Dean Swift. In No. 9 of The Taller Steele quotes some 
lines from Swift's poem "Description of Morning," and attributes 
them to "his ingenious kinsman, Mr. Humphry WagstafF." It 
is reasonably certain that the present allusion is to one of Swift's 

1 35. postdiluvians, those who have lived since the Flood, and 
who have not been so long-lived as Methuselah and the rest of 
the antediluvians. 

P. 55, 1. 3. span, life; an allusion to the words of the Psalmist : 
" Thou hast made my days, as it were, a span long." 

1. 26. hour-glass ... placed near the pulpit. Hour-glasses are 
said to have been invented at Alexandria in the third century. 
As pieces of pulpit furniture they came into general use in the 
sixteenth century, when sermons were very much longer than 
they are now-a-days. They were placed in a framework project 
ing from the pulpit, and at the left hand of the preacher, whose 
discourse not infrequently extended over two turns of the glass. 
Although Steele speaks of them as being " often placed near the 
pulpit," they were rapidly passing out of use in his day. 

1. 33. turned of threescore, has passed the age of sixty. 

P. 56, 1. 2. automaton, a self-acting machine ; from the Greek 
at/ros (pron. autos), self, and ^oret'w (pron. mateuo), to act. 


1. 9. Charles Lillie's. See note, p. 50, 1. 23. 

1. 10. improper, unsuitable. 

1. 13. in a following lucubration. This intention Steele carried 
out in a most amusing paper, Tatler No. 268 ; and he again 
reverts to the subject in two numbers of the Guardian (Nos. 42 
and 84). 

1. 14. throw away a candle upon that subject, i.e. expend some 
artificial light in writing an article on the subject. 


P. 56, 1. 23. Mr. Betterton. In two earlier numbers of the 
Tatler (Nos. 1 and 71) Steele gives most interesting accounts of 
two performances of this great actor. In the former number he 
describes how Betterton, at the age of seventy-four, acted the 
youthful part of Valentine in Congreve's Love for Love with 
astonishing vigour, and in the latter with what freshness he 
played the part of Hamlet. Thomas Betterton, who was born in 
1635, was of humble origin, his father having been a cook in the 
royal kitchen in the time of Charles I. A bookseller named 
Rhodes, to whom young Betterton had been apprenticed, acquired 
an interest in a theatre in Drury Lane ; this gave the young 
actor his first opportunity, and he rapidly rose to eminence. He 
is said to have been the first to introduce movable scenery on the 
stage. His last appearance was on Thursday, April 18, 1710, 
and in less than a fortnight he died. He was buried, as Steele 
here relates, in the east cloister of Westminster Abbey, where a 
stone without inscription marks his grave. 

1. 27. from whose action, from whose acting. 

P. 57, 1. 4. public punishments and executions. It was not 
until the year 1868 that the public execution of criminals ceased 
in England. The place of execution in London was generally 
Tyburn, but from 1783 to 1868 in front of Newgate Prison. 
Capital punishment, which in Steele's day was inflicted for many 
crimes, was restricted in 1861 to those persons found guilty of 
treason and wilful murder. 

1. 15. Roscius among the Romans. Quintus Roscius, a cele 
brated Roman actor, who lived in the first century before the 
Christian era : he died about 61 B.C. He was a personal friend 
of Cicero, and in the latter's writings he is referred to in several 
passages. There is a story told that Cicero and Roscius used 
frequently to contend as to which could best express the same 
thought, the one in speech, the other by gesture. It is inter 
esting to note in this day of high rewards for good acting that 
Roseius received about 35 a day for his performances. 


1. 15. The greatest orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, born 106 B.C., 
assassinated B.C. 43. 

1. 33. relish, taste, appreciation. 

1. 34. just, correct, realistic, life-like. 

1. 35. The operas, which are of late introduced. Steele here 
alludes to the introduction of Italian opera into England which 
took place shortly after the opening of the Haymarket Theatre 
in 1705, for which purpose this theatre was built. The perform 
ances to our ears would have been strange, for the principal 
parts alone were taken by Italians, the minor parts and chorus 
by English, and each sang in their own language. Less than a 
year after the date of this Essay in The Tatler the greatest event 
in the history of opera in England occurred, when on February 
24, 1711, Handel produced his great opera of Rincddo at the 
Haymarket Theatre, to which Addison refers in No. 5 of the 

P. 58, 1. 9. the handkerchief in Othello. See Othello, Act v. , 
sc. ii. The character of Desdemona is said to have been the first 
female part acted by a woman on the English stage. 

1. 12. vicissitude, change, alternation, not necessarily for the 
worse, as the word implies now-a-days. 

1. 21. The charming passage, the well-known speech in which 
Othello pleads his cause before the Venetian Senate (Othello, 
Act i., sc. iii., 128). 

I. 28. ceremony, here used for the funeral procession. 

II. 30, 32. Brutus and Cassius, etc., allusions to Shakspere's 
plays of Julius Gcesar, in which Brutus and Cassius, of Henry 
IV. (Part i.), in which Hotspur, of Henry IV. (Parts i. and n.) 
and Merry Wives of Windsor, in which Falstaff, appear. 

1. 34. scenical, theatrical, and hence superficial, specious, false. 
1. 36. sacred heads, i.e. of the many English sovereigns buried 
in Westminster Abbey. 

P. 59, 1. 6. Macbeth. See Act v., sc. v. This passage from 
Macbeth is quoted by Steele with very curious inaccuracy. The 
original runs thus : 

" To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, 
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day 
To the last syllable of recorded time, 
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools 
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle ! 
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player 
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
And then is heard no more." 

1. 19. the unhappy woman, i.e. Betterton's widow. She had 


been a Mrs. Mary Saunderson, and an admirable actress, par 
ticularly of Shaksperiaii parts. Both Betterton and his wife, 
in an age when the morality of the stage was not what it is now, 
set in their unblemished lives high examples of nobility and 
excellence. She died in the following year (1711) and was 
buried beside her husband in the cloisters of Westminster. 

1. 23. with a sense of his decay, when she realized that her 
husband was failing in strength and that his means were 

1. 27. determined, terminated, ended. 

1. 31. so distinctly, thus particularly. 

1. 32. a certain great spirit. It is doubtful to whom Steele 
here alludes. The most probable suggestion is that the good and 
beautiful Lady Elizabeth Hastings is referred to, whom Steele 
praises o nobly under the name of Aspasia in Tatler No. 49, 
and in reference to whom he employs the memorable phrase "to 
love her is a liberal education." Some, however, have thought 
that because Queen Anne conferred a pension of 100 upon Mrs. 
Betterton after Betterton's death, this may be Steele's modest 
account of a share which he had in recommending the widow to 
the Queen's consideration. 


P. 60, 1. 9. the Mancha, i.e. La Mancha, a province of the 
north-west of Spain. 

1. 12. Michael Cervantes, his full name was Miguel de Cer 
vantes Saavedra. He was born in 1547, and died the same year 
as Shakspere, 1616, being seventeen years older than our poet. 
In early life he was a soldier and fought in the famous naval 
battle of Lepanto (1571), where he lost his left hand. His 
literary fame rests on two works, Galatea, a long pastoral romance, 
and The Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha, the first part 
of which was published in 1605, and the second in 1615. Galatea 
was written to win the admiration of the lady whom he event- 
ualty married. Don Quixote was written with the object of 
discrediting the wild romances then much read in Spain. See 
note, p. 64, 1. 10. 

1. 15. economy. The arrangements and management of his 

furniture, equipment. 

1. 17. Knight Errant. One of the many classes of knights of 
feudal times : some undertook to protect pilgrims, some the 
defence or recovery of the Holy Sepulchre, but the Knight 


Errant wandered over all lands seeking adventures. The order 
of knighthood probably originated in the eleventh or twelfth 

1. 18. halberds. A halberd was a lance-like weapon, the head 
of which was a combination of spear and battle-axe, and so might 
be used in thrusting and hacking. 

morion, an open helmet without either visor or beaver ; 
probably derived from the Spanish morra, the crown of the head. 

1. 22. peregrinations, wanderings ; from Lat. per, through, 
and ager, land. 

1. 25. books of knighthood. Books dealing with the adven 
tures of the famous knights of Christendom, such as those of 
Amadis of Gaul, Palmerin of England, and a host of others. For 
the names of the books read by Don Quixote, see the amusing 
sixth chapter of the Adventures, where the Curate and Master 
Nicholas the Barber destroy the knight's library. 

1. 26. Cervantes reports, etc. See Don Quixote, Part i., 
chap. i. , where the quotation is stated to be from the works of 
the "famous Feliciano de Sylva." 

P. 61, 1. 17. by falling into, in happening to visit. 

1. 18. the upholsterer, this reference is to the character of the 
political upholsterer which Addison had introduced in No. 155 
of the Tatler. 

crack, craze ; the word was also used in the sense of a crazed 
person, a lunatic, e.g. "the Parliament, who look upon me as a 
crack and a projector" (Addison). 

1. 19. This touch, affection, ailment. The word is used in tin's 
sense by Shakspere in the well-known line, "one touch of nature 
makes the whole world kin" (Troilm and Grenada, in. iii.). 

1. 23. the novelists, here used merely in the sense of news 
paper writers who retail what is novel. The English novel was 
not, of course, yet in existence. 

1. 30. the Post-man, a well-known newspaper of Steele's day. 

1. 31. alley coffee-houses. The humbler class of coffee-houses 
in the poorer parts of London. 

P. 62, 1. 5. the plain of Lens, the plain to the north of the 
town of Mons, in Hainault, not many miles from the scene of 
MarllioroiiLrirs brilliant campaign in the previous year (1709), 
and the field of Malplaquet. 

1. 11. Marshall Villars, one of the most distinguished of the 
French generals in the War of the Spanish Succession. 

1. 1"). Monsieur Albergottl, one of the French generals of 
Louis XIV. He was l><>sic ^vd in the town of Douay by the 
Allies in 1710, and compelled to surrender. 


1. 20. the elector of Bavaria, the ally of Louis XIV. in the 
War of the Spanish Succession. 

1. 36. vertigo, a giddiness, confusion. From Lat. verto, to turn. 

P. 63, 1. 3. Ichabod Dawks's Letter, the name of a small news 
paper of the day. 

1. 7. battle of Ramillies. This famous victory of Marlborough 
was won on Whitsunday, May 12, 1706. 

1. 10. we shall not stand upon the day, we shall not be par 
ticular as to the day. Cf. Macbeth, Act in., sc. iv., 1. 118 : 
" Stand not upon the order of your going, 
But go at once !" 

1. 13. conceit, a whimsical idea or thought. So Pope, Essay 
on Criticism, when condemning those critics who care merely for 
the far-fetched eccentric thoughts expressed in a poem, says : 
" Some to conceit alone their taste confine, 
And glitt'ring thoughts struck out at ev'ry line." 

1. 15. noddles, the heads; a diminutive formed from M.E. 
knod, a knob, ball (Skeat). 

1. 22. our fraternity, i.e. of newspaper writers. 

1. 23. as particular, as peculiar, odd. 

1. 25. whether print or manuscript. Some of the newspapers 
of the day, such as Ichabod Dawks's Letter, had a portion of 
their news printed as reproduction of manuscript (Dobson). 

1. 26. a refreshment, a re'chaujfe or re-hash of the news already 
published in other papers. 

1. 31. the Courant, the Daily Courant, a whig newspaper of 
Steele's day, and the first daily paper published in England. 

P. 64, 1. 10. books of chivalry to Spain, the extravagant 
romances of knight-errantry of the sixteenth century, which 
Cervantes, considering them as destructive of the moral and 
intellectual character of his fellow-countrymen, ridiculed out of 
existence by showing their effect in the case of the crazed Don 
Quixote. See note, p. 60, 1. 25. 

ON SATIRE. No. 17. 

P. 64, 1. 22. pretended, presumed, dared, 
impertinent applauses, inappropriate, ill-deserved praise. 

P. 65, 1. 8. When Virgil said. This saying occurs in Virgil's 
Third Eclogue, and refers to two petty and spiteful poets of the 
time of Augustus Csesar, who took delight in attacking the 
reputation of the great writers of the period. 

62-68.] ON SATIRE. 117 

1. 15. the character among us, etc. In this epigram the witty 
Earl of Rochester (1647-1680) describes the character of the Earl 
of Dorset, the author of the well-known song, To all you Ladies 
now on Land, written at sea just before a naval engagement with 
the Dutch. A somewhat similar epigram was applied to Dr. 
Arbuthnot, of whom it was said that "he liked an ill-natured 
jest the best of any good-natured man in the kingdom." 

1. 27. produce, here used in its literal sense, to lead forth ; 
hence to indicate, display. 

1. 29. of the greatest character in this kind, i.e. of the greatest 
reputation in this form of satire. 

1. 30. Horace, the Latin poet and satirist who was born in 
B.C. 65 and died B.C. 8, when he had nearly completed his 57th 
year. His Satires, of which there are two books, are considered 
the finest portion of his works. 

Juvenal is said to have been born about the year 40 A.D. in 
the reign of Caligula, and to have died at the age of 80 in the 
reign of Hadrian, but much uncertainty exists as to the exact 
dates. While the writings of Horace are distinguished by 
brilliancy and playfulness, those of Juvenal are marked by 
earnest thought and dignified rhetoric. 

P. 66, 1. 4. a prince of the greatest goodness, Augustus Csesar, 
the friend and patron of Horace. 

1. 7. falls upon, attacks. 

1. 8. false pretences to politeness, i.e. false claims to be con 
sidered learned and cultured ; politeness in Steele's day denoted 
rather the attainments which mark the man of cultured mind 
than gentle manners ; cf. Johnson, Preface to Shakspere, " the 
polite are ever catching modish innovations. " 

1. 12. Domitian, Titus Flavius Domitianus, the Roman 
emperor, son of the emperor Vespasian, who reigned from 
81 A.D. to 96 A.D., when he was put to death in his own apart 
ments by the members of a conspiracy roused to action by his 
cruelties. His reign is memorable as that in which Britain was 
finally conquered by the Romans under Agricola, and for one of 
the most terrible of the persecutions of the Christians. 

1. 15. conversation, in its original and wider sense of inter 
course with our fellow-creatures. 

1. 34. rally, to banter, chaff; the word is a form of rail, to 

P. 67, 1. 13. with greater life, with greater accuracy. 

P. 68, 1. 9. repartee ; the use of this word as a verb is unusual ; 
it is an anglicized form of the French repartic, a witty reply. 



P. 69, 1. 13. the mind of a man, etc. Milton (Par. Lost, Bk. 
I. 253) expresses a somewhat similar idea : 

" The mind is its own place, and in itself 
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven." 

1. 25. than his vanity, i.e. than to or for his vanity. 

1. 26. prepossessions, prejudice in favour of. 

1. 34. Mr. Collier, the Rev. Jeremy Collier (1650-1726) who 
became famous as a political writer, after the Revolution, when 
he directed his great controversial powers against the govern 
ment of William III. Steele here quotes from one of his Essays 
upon Several Moral Subjects. His real fame rests upon the noble 
protest which, in 1698, he entered against the immorality of the 
plays which Congreve, Farquhar, and other writers of the 
Restoration period had made fashionable on the English stage. 
This work was entitled: A short view of the Immorality and 
Profaneness of the English Stage, together with the, sense of 
Antiquity upon this argument. It roused all sober and thinking 
men to side with him, and led to a great improvement in the 
tone of the English Drama. Steele, in his comedy of The Lying 
Lover, by attempting to mingle what was serious with the 
elements of a comedy, aimed at carrying into practice the 
suggestions of Collier towards the creation of a purer and more 
elevating drama. 

P. 70, 1. 6. decency, decorum, dignity. Cf. Addison, Spec 
tator, 279 : " Sentiments which raise laughter can very seldom 
be admitted with any decency in an Heroic poem. " 

1. 20. adventitious, incidental, superficial. 

1. 22. only for the just application of them, only so far as they 
are rightly employed. 

1. 26. delicates, delicacies, dainties. 

1. 27. wit, intellectual gifts. 

P. 71, 1. 4. allowed only to those, admitted to exist only in 

1. 6. denominate, mark them out, distinguish. 

1. 15. distinctions, social and class distinctions. 

1. 20. interpretation of his actions, i.e. the motives which 
others ascribe to his actions. 

1. 24. inexplicable, intricate, lit. that which cannot be un 
woven or disentangled (Latin ex and plico). 

1. 27. tragedian, i.e. a writer of tragedy, and not, as now, a 
tragic actor. For the passage from which Steele quotes see 
Macbeth, Act u., sc. ii., 1. 43. 


1. 30. Mr. Cowley. The lines are to be found in Cowley's 
Essay, No. 6, Of Greatness. Abraham Cowley (1618-1667), a 
poet whose works are now little read. His longest poem is an 
unfinished one entitled Davideis, which recounts the deeds of 
King David. His Essays, in which Cowley's great learning and 
deep philosophic thought are found, rank in point of excellence 
with similar productions of the best writers. 


P. 72, 1. 8. Mile-End, a district in the east of London, situated 
between Whitechapel and Bow, and now densely populated. In 
former days the place was a favourite country retreat, and here 
the well-to-do citizens had their summer gardens and many of 
them residences. Bethnal Green and Hoxton were similar rural 
districts at this time, and much frequented. 

Stepney churchyard, the churchyard of the old parish 
church of Stepney, another district in the east end, and about 
two and a half miles east of St. Paul's Cathedral. The church 
was built in the fourteenth century. It is a very old tradition 
that all children born at sea belong to Stepney parish : 
" He who sails on the wide sea 
Is a parishioner of Stepney." Old Rhyme. 

1.23. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, born B.C. 318, died B.C. 273. 
The philosopher here referred to is Cineas his friend and adviser. 
See Plutarch's Lives. 

1. 28. condition, position in life. Cf. Pope, Essay on Man : 
" Honour and shame from no condition rise ; 
Act well your part, there all the honour lies." 

P. 73, 1. 5. and quitted, retired from the army. 

1. 10. our regiment. If Steele is here describing some friend 
of his, we must remember that he may have known him, either 
when he was serving as a gentleman volunteer in the Guards, or 
when he held the captaincy in Lord Lucas's Fusileers (see 

1. 13. His warm complexion, his energetic nature. See note, 
p. 24, 1. 36. 

1. 1 9. put his mind in some method of gratification, direct his 
thoughts and energy towards something which may be a source 
of pleasure to him, and so keep his mind from brooding. 

1. 22. courting proper occasions, seeking suitable opportunities. 

1. 33. I know not what, some element of ; a literal translation 
of the French idiom, je ne sais quoi. 


P. 74, 1. 2. undertaking spirits, adventurous spirits. 

1. 6. for the ostentation of, for the sake of displaying. 

1. 11. may figure to us, may serve to illustrate for us. 

1. 12. politer, more cultured. 

1. 26. regular prosecution, lawful pursuit ; Lat. prosequor, to 
follow, pursue. 

1. 29. the Trumpet. See Essay 9 and notes. 

P. 75, 1. 3. a pretence to arrive at, and an ardency to exert, 
a possibility of attaining to, and an enthusiasm in putting into 

1. 10. pretends to it, aims at, lays claim to ; Lat. prcetendo, to 
spread before, hold out (as an aim). 

1. 18. turned, directed. 

1. 19. cast, character. See note, p. 30, 1. 10. 


P. 76, 1. 5. incoherent circumstances, disconnected facts and 

1. 6. in his imagination, as he imagined. 

1. 24. the nicest art, an art of the most refined and delicate 
character. See note, for this use of nice, p. 51, 1. 19. 

1. 34. easy companion. See note, p. 33, 1. 24. 

P. 77, 1. 2. a led friend, a hanger-on, a follower. 

1. 3. a darling for his insignificancy, a favourite on account of 
his insignificance. 

1. 9. There are of, there are those of. 

1. 18. the course of the town, what is going on in the town in 
the way of incident or gossip. 

1. 30. the Latin word for a flatterer. Cf. Trench, Study of 
Words : " Thus, all of us have felt the temptation of seeking to 
please others by an unmanly assenting to their opinion, even 
when our own independent convictions did not agree with theirs. 
The existence of such a temptation, and the fact that too many 
yield to it, are declared in the Latin for a flatterer, assentalor, 
that is an assenter, one who has not courage to say No when a 
Yes is expected from him." 

1. 34. gains upon you, wins your confidence and friendship. 

P. 78, 1. 12. his parts are so low, his ability is of so low an 


1. 21. an estate of reputation, is in possession of credit or 

1. 31. Terence introduces, etc. ; in his comedy of Etmuchus, 
where Gnatho the Parasite thus expresses himself on the art of 
nattering (Act n., sc. iii.) : " There is a class of men who strive 
to be first in everything, but are not ; to these I make my court ; 
whatever they say, I commend ; if they contradict that self-same 
thing, I commend again. Does any one deny ? I deny ; does any 
one affirm ? I affirm. " 

1. 36. discover, exhibit, show. 

P. 79, 1. 6. a droll, an amusing fellow, a wag. The word is of 
Scandinavian origin, and originally meant 'a merry imp' (Danish, 

1. 7. ticklish, critical, sensitive. Cf. Bacon, Essay, Of Seditions 
and Troubles : ' ' Princes had need in tender matter and ticklish 
time to beware what they say." 

1. 17. Sir Jeffery, Sir Jeffery Notch, a member of the Trumpet 
Club. See Essay 9. 

1. 18. hold up, i.e. resist sleep. 

1. 30. an arrant driveller, a downright fool. The word arrant 
is another form of errant, roving, wandering. From the fact that 
the word was most frequently used as a prefix to words indicative 
of bad character, such as an errant thief, an errant rogue, it 
gradually assumed the quality of these words itself, and came to 
mean notorious, abject. 

1. 33. the Revolution, of 1688, when the Stuart dynasty, repre 
sented by James II., was succeeded by the collateral branch 
represented by William, Prince of Orange. 


yEsop, 12. 21. 
After-life, 46. 10. 
Albergotti, Monsieur, 62. 15. 
Alexander the Great,. 24. 11. 
Apprentices, London, 35. 1. 


Bank, the, 37. 30. 
Bassett, 19. 28. 
Bavaria, elector of, 62. 20. 
Bellman, 20. 12. 
Betterton, Thomas, 56. 23. 
Be vis of Southampton, 12. 


Bickerstaff, Isaac, 2. 11. 
Bills of Mortality, i. 8. 
Bob-wig, 48. 18. 
Bocsalini, 53. 7. 
Brasenose College, 47. 23. 
Brutus, 58. 30. 

Canterbury tale, 36. 35. 
Cassius, 58. 30. 
Caubly, Roger de, 17. 8. 
Cervantes, 60. 12. 
Charing-Cross, 35. 14. 
Cheapside, 37. 29. 
Chelsea, 16. 9. 

Christ Church Bells, 17. 10. 
Chronicle, Baker's, 53. 29, 
Coaches, 9. 28. 
Colleges, hours of, 20. 29. 
Collier, Mr., 69. 34. 
Colt's tooth, a, 33. 2. 
Complexion, 24. 36. 
Conceit, 63. 13. 
Courant, the, 63. 31. 
Cowley, Mr., 71. 30. 
Coxcombs, 45. 25. 
Crimp, 19. 28. 
Curfew, the, 19. 23. 

Dainty, Lady, 23. 12. 
Depiiigle, 14. 35. 
Dick's Coffee-house, 4. 10. 
Diet- drink, 23. 4. 
Domitian, 66. 12. 
Donne, doctor, 53. 12. 
Dragon, 52. 19. 
Drinking habits, 8. 11. 
Duelling, 42. 20. 


Edge-hill, 36. 18. 
Electuary, 47. 32. 
Enfield-chase, 26. 8. 
Eutrapelus, 33. 10. 
Executions, public, 57. 4. 




Farthingale, 31. 24. 
Fields, the five, 16. 15. 
Furbelow, 31. 9. 
Fusee, 51. 29. 


Oarraway's, 8, 2. 
Gascon, 23. 29. 
Gimcracks, 16. 25. 
Goldsmith's notes, 51. 16. 
Grecian, the, i. 7. 
Guicciardini, 53. 10. 
Guy of Warwick, 12. 26. 


Hastings, Lady Elizabeth, 

59- 32. 

Hickerthrift, John, 12. 32. 
Horace, 65. 30. 
Hours for dining, 20. 30. 
Hour-glasses, 55. 26. 
Hours of theatres, 10. 1. 
Hudibras, 35. 15. 
Hungary water, 48. 31. 
Hyde-Park, 44. 22. 

Ichabod Dawks's Letter, 63. 

Isaac, 15. 15. 

Jambee, 52. 18. 
Jeffery, Sir, 79. 17. 
Juvenal, 65. 30. 

Kit, 15. 11. 

Knight-errant, 60. 17. 

Ladies' cure, The, 27. 9. 
Lens, plain of, 62. 5. 

Library, a Female, 29. 9. 
Lillie, Charles, 50. 23. 
Limpers, 23. 36. 
Lotteries, 38. 1. 
Lottery, Penny, 40. 9. 
Lucian, 21. 15. 
Lucubrations, 2. 19. 


Macbeth, 59. 6. 
Mancha, the, 60. 9. 
Manes, 4. 25. 
Marston Moor, 34. 36. 
Mathers, Charles, 50. 26. 
Mile-end, 72. 8. 
Morphew, Mr., 38. 29. 
Mountebanks, 13. 26. 
Muffs, 1 8. 18. 


Nando's, 50. 20. 
Naseby, 35. 32. 
Negroes, 46. 34. 
Nestor, 37. 14. 
Nice, 51. 19. 
Nickers, 25. 33. 
Nicolini, 49. 11. 


Oaf, 28. 35. 
Ogle, Jack, 35. 15. 
Oliver Cromwell, 4. 4. 
Open-breasted, n. 35. 
Operas, 57. 35. 
Ordinaries, 35. 14. 
Othello, 58. 9. 
Overdo, Justice, 16. 17. 

Palatines, 39. 10. 
Partridge, Mr., 41. 2. 
Periwigs, n. 34. 
Play-house, 10. 1. 
Point of war, 12. 15. 



Post-man, the, 61. 30. 
Punch, 1 8. 17. 
Pyrrhus, 72. 23. 


Ramillies, battle of, 63. 7. 
Revolution, the, 79. 33. 
Rigadoon, 15. 27. 
Roscius, 57. 15. 

Sacheverell trial, 49. 17- 
St. George, 12. 33. 
St. James's, 2. 4. 
Sclopeta, 17. 31. 
Seneca, 38. 36. 
Sheer-lane, 4. 10. 
Sheyles, Elinor, 6. 2. 
Shoulder-knot, 32. 3. 
Spleen, 28. 10. 
Stepney, 72. 8. 

Taylor, Jeremy, 45. 5. 
Terence, 78. 31. 

Toast, 12. 11. 
Tom's Coffee-house, 2. 3. 
Toy-shop, 31. 27. 
Tradescant, 17. 27. 
Trumpet Club, 34. 10. 
Trusty, Sam, 46. 2. 
Tutty, 47. 34. 
Tweezer-case, 51. 31. 

Venus, 26. 22. 
Villars, Marshal, 62. 11. 
Virgil, 65. 8. 
Vossius, 17. 20. 


Wagstaff, Mr. Humphrey, 

54. 32. 

Watch, the, 20. 13. 
Westminster Hall, 20. 33. 
White's, 2. 3. 
William Rufus, 20. 33. 
Will's Coffee-house, 2. 3. 







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PR Steele, (Sir) Richard 

3702 Selections